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I HAVE been asked to write a few lines by way of 
preface to this volume. I readily do so because 
fully persuaded of the high value of Medical Missions as 
an auxiliary to Christian enterprise, and especially in its 
earliest stage. 

The book contains an exhaustive account of the bene- 
fits that may, and in point of fact do, accrue from the 
use of the medical art as a Christian agency. Mr. Lowe 
is eminently qualified to instruct us in this matter, having 
himself been so long engaged in the same field. Some, 
indeed, may be inclined to question whether medical 
work may not have been too strongly insisted upon here, 
as a necessary branch of all Missionary and Evangelistic 
agencies ; and it is quite possible, that in enthusiasm for 
a grand work which has engaged the labour of his life, this 
view may have been pressed somewhat far. But, however 
this may be, if we regard medical agencies as the pioneers 
of regular missions, our Author has not said one word too 
much in praise of them. In so far as these are used in 
the breaking of ground yet strange to the Gospel, or 
amidst needy and outcast classes anywhere, there can 
hardly be a question in any Christian mind as to their 
great value. Mr. Lowe has well illustrated this in the 
instances he has given of the benefits of the healing art 


in abating * suspicion and prejudice, disarming hostility, 
and bespeaking the confidence of the people toward our 
Missionaries. Such, for example, is the experience 
Gfained from the wonderful mission of Dr. Elmslie in 
Cashmere, and the practice of the art by well-qualified 
Lady physicians in the Harems and Zenanas of the 
East. Throughout Eastern lands, indeed, and especially 
amongst Mahometans, the Christian Hakeem is always 
respected, and always welcome ; and the Gospel which 
he carries in one hand is graciously received, because of 
the material benefits held out by the other. And so it 
comes to pass, that healing remedies, and kindly treat- 
ment of the suffering, become an important means of 
making the Missionary popular, and preparing the soil 
for reception of the Gospel. 

It is, therefore, with high satisfaction, that we learn 
from Mr. Lowe of an increasing staff of Medical Mission- 
aries springing up — men able and willing to unite the 
office of physician with that of the Christian minister. 
And herein, truly, it may be said, that they are but 
following the example of our Saviour, who Himself, and 
through His disciples, healed the sick simultaneously 
with the blessed proclamation that the kingdom of 
heaven was at hand. It is true that miraculous agency 
has passed away, but the same analogy still subsists 
between the ailments of the body and the soul, and the 
disposition is still the same, as of old, in those who are 
healed, to listen to the voice of the physician as a preacher 
of salvation. On every ground, therefore, these Medical 
Missions are worthy the support of all who have at heart 
the success of Missions amongst the poor and in Foreign 
lands. W. M. 

March ir, 1886. 


SINCE the third edition of this work was sent forth to 
the public, its author has been called from service 
here, to nobler service in the presence of the King. 
Now that a fourth edition is needed, some of the friends 
of Medical Missions have suggested that there should be 
in this new issue a likeness of the author, and also a short 
sketch of his life-work — so intimately were his life and 
work intertwined, that in his case life and work seemed 
one. In preparing the following sketch, lest the partiality 
of love should in any way detract from its worth, we 
shall compile rather than compose, and quote the opinions 
of others, rather than give our estimate. 

"Among Christian workers few men were better 
known in the city of Edinburgh than the Rev. John 
Lowe, F.R.C.S.E., who, during nine years, superintended 
the Medical Missions in Travancore, South India, and 
afterwards occupied the important position of Secretary 
of the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society, and 
Superintendent, during twenty-one years, of its Training 

viii PREFACE. 

" In missionary matters he was not only an enthusiast, 
but an acknowledged authority, and his recent interesting 
and valuable work, on ' Medical Missions : their Place 
and Power,' has brought him prominently before the 
Christian community throughout Great Britain. 

" This distinguished medical missionary was born on 
2nd March 1835, at Banchory, Aberdeenshire, one of 
the loveliest and most romantic spots in Scotland. His 
father was a well-known Independent minister, the late 
Rev. William Lowe of Forfar, a man full of sympathy 
with the down-trodden and oppressed, a faithful minister 
of Christ, and a fearless assertor of God's truth and man's 
rights. Before the repeal of the Corn Laws Mr. Lowe of 
Forfar went with others as a deputation to London, and, 
being spokesman, was introduced to Sir Robert Peel, and 
pled before that great minister of State for the oppressed 
and starving people. John Bright, speaking of this 
remarkable interview, a few years since, said that nothing 
produced a more manifest and deeper impression upon 
Sir Robert Peel than the powerful eloquence and heartfelt 
sympathy with the oppressed poor, with which Mr. Lowe 
spoke on that occasion. His son inherited a large share 
of his father's enthusiasm and sympathy with suffering 
humanity, — indeed his whole life was devoted to the 
Christ-like work of Medical Missions, — thus he sought to 
follow in the footsteps of Him who went about all Galilee 
preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all 
manner of sickness and disease among the people. 

" Passing over his early years, we find Dr. Lowe 
received his diploma in February 1861, and was fairly 
launched on his life-work. On July 25 th he sailed from 
Gravesend, along with his young wife, en route for 
Travancore, to labour there as a Medical Missionary. 


To this work he heartily devoted himself, and while his 
medical skill commanded respect, and his eloquence 
carried weight with it, his gentle yet firm disposition soon 
gained for him the affection and confidence of the natives. 
Frequent opportunities occurred, as they do to most 
medical missionaries, to demonstrate the unselfish 
character of his work — by facing dangers from which 
others might shrink ; thus the fearless yet tender way in 
which the young doctor, and the native assistants he had 
trained, laboured during a severe epidemic of cholera, 
was remembered long after his return to Scotland. 

" During his residence in Travancore, Dr. Lowe placed 
the Medical Missions on such a sound basis that it has 
developed into an agency of great, and still increasing, 
dimensions. He was instrumental in training a goodly 
band of native medical evangelists, whom he appointed 
to take care of branch dispensaries established throughout 
the provinces. Several of these native medical mission- 
aries are still alive and working faithfully among their 

" One who knew Dr. Lowe intimately, alluding to this 
period, writes : ' Our brother succeeded in carving his 
name deep in the history of Travancore, a mighty impulse 
was given both to hospital and evangelical work. This 
period of service was a bright spot in his memory, and he 
never ceased to feel the most lively interest and affection 
in the people of Travancore. It was an intense trial to 
Dr. Lowe when the state of Mrs. Lowe's health forbade 
his return to India, but God, in his Providence, most 
unexpectedly opened up a new sphere of usefulness.' 

" Dr. Lowe's connection with the Edinburgh Medical 
Missionary Society extended over many years, when, as 
yet, there was no Training Institution. As a student and 


pupil of Dr. Handy side, early in 1856, he threw himself 
heart and soul into medical missionary work in the 
Cowgate, and other of the lowest parts of Edinburgh. 
It was Dr. Lowe, who, as a student, drew up the petition, 
signed by all who were students of the Society at the 
time, addressed to the Directors of the Edinburgh 
Medical Missionary Society, urging them ' to acquire the 
Dispensary as the best apprentice school for the medical 
missionary students.' 

"On March ist, 187 1, Dr. Lowe accepted the unan- 
imous invitation of the Directors of the Edinburgh 
Medical Missionary Society to become Superintendent of 
their Training Institution, and what he has been to that 
Institution during the past twenty-one years forms no 
small part of the history of Medical Missions in these 
years. Under Dr. Lowe's wise and devoted guidance 
the Society and its Institution made remarkable progress. 
In 187 1 seven students were in training ; in 1892 twenty- 
nine. In 187 1 the Society's income was barely £^1200; 
in 1892 it was over ;^6ooo. In 1871 the Training 
Institution occupied premises which consisted of the old 
whisky shops in the Cowgate of Edinburgh (found out 
and purchased by Dr. Handyside), transformed and 
adapted to better uses; now, 1892, it occupies premises 
on the same site, known as the Livingstone Memorial 
Training Institution of the Edinburgh Medical Missionary 
Society. This Institution cost fully ^10,000, and it is 
interesting to know, that incorporated with it, and used for 
the evangelistic services of the Mission, is the Magdalen 
Chapel, where the General Assembly met in 1578, with 
Mr. Andrew Melville as moderator, and sanctioned the 
Second Book of Discipline. The Society's work has so 
grown that, as a Jubilee Memorial, it was resolved to raise 


a sum of p^ 10,000 for extension of premises, and to 
provide further for the training of women medical 
missionaries. In all the Society's movements of develop- 
ment and progress Dr. Lowe had an energetic share, 
and when he had just completed his majority in its 
service (March 1892), and had seen it through its 
eminently successful Jubilee celebrations, God called him 
(May 1892), by a death, so sudden as to be really a 
translation, to his rest and his crown above. 

" It was a remarkable position that Dr. Lowe was 
called to fill as Superintendent of the Training Institution. 
It gave him the direction of the studies, and the training 
of the young men preparing to be medical missionaries, 
and the moulding of their characters at the most 
impressionable period of life — a work demanding 
sympathy, insight into character, discrimination, and 
patience, in no common degree. Upon every generation 
of students as they passed under his care, he stamped 
somewhat of his own lofty disinterestedness and strict 
conscientiousness in the discharge of professional and 
missionary duty ; and in India, China, Africa, the South 
Seas, and the far West of America, in fact, wherever the 
medical missionary has set foot of late years, there are 
men to-day acknowledging that through him they have 
received some of the impulses moving them most 
powerfully towards duty and God. Many men who have 
achieved eminence, and been greatly blessed by God, have 
come under his influence. To speak only of the dead — 
Mackay of Uganda, though not a medical missionary, 
took part in the evangelistic work of the Training 
Institution, and his friend. Dr. John Smith, who died of 
fever soon after his arrival on the shores of the Victoria 
Nyanza, was for a time resident under Dr. Lowe. Dr.. 


J. Mackenzie of Tientsin, as is told in his biography, was 
greatly helped by him in deciding for the career of 
medical missionary, in which he did such splendid work 
both as surgeon and as a missionary of Christ. 

" As the adviser of the various societies requiring the 
•services of the medical missionary, Dr. Lowe was held in 
the greatest esteem. The Church Missionary Society, 
the London Missionary Society, the Baptist Missionary 
Society, the Foreign Mission Committees of the Church 
of Scotland, of the Free Church, and of the United 
Presbyterian Church, had the greatest confidence in 
his recommendations. It is not too much to say that 
in all his correspondence, both with societies and with 
students, there was not the slightest hint of sectarian 
feeling to be traced, everything being subordinated to his 
ruling purpose, to advance through all the churches 
and societies the kingdom of our common Lord. 

" No one who knew Dr. Lowe needs to be told that 
he was a great enthusiast in medical missionary work. 
A friend said to him, not long ago, that when he died 
^ Medical Mission ' would be found engraven on his 
heart. He never wavered in his belief, that as a means 
of opening up the way for the Gospel message, and 
expediting its acceptance among heathen people, it was 
the most valuable and effective of all auxiliaries. The 
fear has sometimes been expressed, lest the ardour 
generated by the study and practice of medicine, should 
tend to suppress or lessen the solicitude which should be 
excited by men's deeper and more clamant spiritual 
need. But our friend was convinced that if due care 
were taken in the selection and training of men for 
medical missionary work, no danger was to be appre- 
hended on this ground ; and certainly no one was better 

PREFACE. xiii 

fitted by character and training and temperament to 
expose the groundlessness of this fear. He himself 
never felt the temptation to sink the evangelist and the 
missionary in the medical man, though he loved his- 
profession with intensity. It was his loftiest conception, 
his burning desire, to do the work of an evangelist. 
' Truly it may be said that to preach Christ, and to 
train up others to preach Him, was the joy and passion 
of his life.' No one could hear Dr. Lowe speak or preach 
without being impressed with his overmastering earnest- 
ness, with the depth and intensity of his religious 
convictions. To hear him pleading with men to accept 
Christ, to hear him pleading with those who were living, 
dying, without Christ, never having heard the glorious 
evangel — ' God so loved the world that He gave His 
only begotten Son,' — was an experience which no one 
who heard him often, could fail vividly to recall. 

" Great as was his experience, and valuable as was his 
counsel in Foreign Mission work, his experience in 
Home Mission work was scarcely less. The agencies 
under Dr. Lowe's superintendence in the Medical 
Mission, 39 Cowgate, touched the lowest depths of city 
poverty and degradation, and were more helpful in 
relieving misery, and in reaching the most wretched with 
the blessings of the Gospel, than any other work. In all 
our social problems he took the keenest interest ; to the 
solution of them he could contribute knowledge gained 
at first hand among the tempted and the degraded 

" The friends of missions everywhere owe a debt of 
gratitude to Dr. Lowe for his suggestive, eloquent, and 
stimulating work, ' Medical Missions : their Place and 
Power.' This book, the outcome of personal observation 


and experience extending over a lifetime, has been most 
favourably reviewed by the bulk of the press, including 
the Literary World and the Quarterly Review — a notice 
in the columns of either is no small honour. It was 
received with the highest approval by the many members 
of the noble profession of medicine to which he had the 
honour to belong. Nothing, in his later years, pleased 
him more than the very numerous letters he received 
after the publication of this work from many of his 
professional brethren in Edinburgh and elsewhere of the 
highest standing, thanking him for his book, and wishing 
him Godspeed in the prosecution of his noble efforts for 
the amelioration of suffering and the spread of the 
Gospel j and nothing is now more pleasing and comforting 
to his widow and children than the knowledge that, 
although prevented, during these busy years, from 
mingling, as he would have liked, with his medical 
brethren at their gatherings, yet, he so carried before the 
profession ' the white flower of a blameless life,' as to 
command and retain, in a very marked degree, their 
esteem and affection. 

" This book has passed through three editions, and is 
the standard work on the subject of Medical Missions. 
Dr. Lowe has also left behind him a very interesting 
memoir of his friend. Dr. Elmslie of Kashmir ; a smaller 
work in the Outline Missionary Series, called ' Medical 
Missions : their Claims and Progress ' ; and the ' Jubilee 
Memorial Historic Sketch of the Edinburgh Medical 
Missionary Society.' It is a wonder indeed that a 
missionary of such experience and worth, the superin- 
tendent of a training institution so closely associated with 
academic life, and an author of such acknowledged 
ability and merit should have escaped an honorary 


degree from some of the universities. It was doubtless a 
distinction of which his own unassuming and unselfish 
nature never dreamt, and which could have had no value 
for him, except in so far as it might add to his influence 
in advancing the kingdom of Christ. But he has had his 
reward in the marvellous success which crowned his 
labours in connection with the Medical Missionary 
Society, and the extension of medical missionaries 
throughout the world will but enhance his fame as one 
of their foremost representatives. 

" Perhaps Dr. Lowe never had a busier spring than his 
last one, when almost single-handed he had to make all 
the necessary arrangements for the celebration of the 
Society's Jubilee, which passed off with such entire and 
gratifying success. His last work was the preparation of 
the May Quarterly Paper of the Edinburgh Medical 
Missionary Society (which magazine he had edited from 
its commencement exactly twenty-one years before). 
This number contained a most interesting account of the 
Jubilee Meetings, and when ' the tired worker laid down 
his pen' on Thursday evening, May 5, 1892, although he 
knew it not, he was laying it down for the last time. . . . 
It was with a feeling of pain and surprise that the many 
friends of this well-known, greatly beloved Christian 
worker, read in the papers of Monday, 9th May, that on 
the evening of the day previous, Sunday, he had been 
called to his eternal rest. He had risen in the morning, 
intending to preach, according to promise, in the 
Tolbooth Parish Church, but, feeling faint, returned to 
bed, where he rested all day till evening, when, feeling 
better, he got up, dressed himself, and went into his 
study, and there, between six and seven o'clock on that 
quiet Sunday evening (May 8, 1892), in that little room 


where he had laboured, and struggled, and prayed for so 
many years, the Master came to him and gently called 
the weary worker home. Surely no more appropriate 
place for his Lord to find him. He was not, for God 
had taken him. ' Blessed are the dead who die in the 
Lord, . . . their works do follow them.' 

" The poor people in the Cowgate had assembled as 
usual for service in the Magdalen Chapel. When the 
news spread that their beloved ' father,' as they were wont 
to call him, had been thus suddenly called ' home,' they 
could hardly believe it. Many who were in the habit of 
attending these services will miss the familiar ring of his 
musical voice, and the earnest words and tender tones in 
which he pressed home upon them the offer of salvation ; 
and perhaps that which will live longest in the remembrance 
of some will be his solemn earnest pleadings with God, 
that He would pour out abundantly of His Holy Spirit. 
Our friend lived in the atmosphere of prayer, it was the 
vital breath of his being ; he felt it to be no less necessary 
to the sustenance of his own spiritual life, than to the 
accomplishment and success of all spiritual work. 

" What our brother was in his home life among those 
whom he dearly loved, it is not for me to speak." 

Edinburgh, 1895. 




The Divine ideal of " Preaching the Gospel " inter- 
preted by our Lord's Ministry, and that of His 
Apostles 1-23 



The Sphere and Scope of Medical Missions, and the 
Medical Missionary's Qualifications, Status, and 
Method of Work . . 25-50 



The value of Medical Missions as a Pioneer Agency — 
The Testimony of Travellers, and the Experience 

of Missionaries 51-87 

xviii CONTENTS. 




The value of Medical Missions as a direct Evangel- 
istic Agency, illustrated by their results in India 89-117 



The value of Medical Missions as a direct Evangelistic 
Agency, illustrated by their results in China ajid 
elsewhere 1 19-143 



The need of Medical Missions in our Mission Fields 
abroad — The claims of the Heathen, of our Con- 
verts, and of the Mission Families . . . 145-174 



Zenana Medical Missions — The qualifications, training, 

and position of the Female Medical Missionary 175-198 



The History and Progress of Modern Medical 
Missions — Sketch of the Edinburgh Medical 
Missionary Society 199-230 





Home Medical Missions ; their place, method, and 

power 231-261 



Conclusion. — Appeal to Young Men, to Students, and 

to the Friends of Missions , . . 263-283 


PORTRAIT OF Dr. LOWE ^frontispiece). 


First President of the Edinburgh Medical Missionary 
Society, .... {facing page 201) 

PORTRAIT OF Dr. HANDYSIDE, . {facing page 207) 











THE missionary enterprise, including the various 
methods employed in commending God's message 
of redeeming love to man, is the highest form of Chris- 
tian benevolence, and the noblest work in which man 
can engage. 

The missionary's theme — the glorious Gospel of the 
blessed God — is the one only antidote to all the world's 
sins and sorrows. Its Divine message remains ever the 
same, " God so loved the world that He gave His only 
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should 
not perish, but have everlasting life," and no circum- 
stance of clime or culture, neither degradation, ignorance, 
nor prejudice, can weaken its efficacy, or affect its adapt- 


ation to the needs ot mankind : " For the Gospel is the 
power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, 
to the Jew first, and also to the Greek," and to make 
known this Gospel is the one aim and object of the 
missionary enterprise. 

The Divine commission, " Go ye into all the world 
and preach the Gospel to every creature," is, however, 
much more comprehensive in its meaning, than many 
of even the most intelligent friends of missions, seem 
inclined to admit. The late lamented pioneer of African 
evangelization, Dr. Livingstone, says truly that " preach- 
ing the Gospel to the heathen includes much more than 
is implied in the usual picture of a missionary — a man 
going about with a Bible under his arm," indicating, 
thereby, the grand intention of its Divine Founder, that 
the Gospel should be proclaimed to mankind not as a 
mere dogma, but as a life ; that the missionary, while he 
should maintain a form of sound words, must strive at 
the same time to commend the Gospel by a practical 
manifestation of its spirit, and should show to all that, in 
its beneficent design, it has regard not only to the life 
that now is, but also to that which is to come. " How 
beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that 
bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace ; " like the 
fair goddess of whom we read, that, wherever she went, 
flowers sprang up in her path, so wherever the glorious 
Gospel of the blessed God is preached in its Divine 
comprehensiveness, alike by living voice and by loving 


deeds, there " the wilderness and the soUtary place 
shall be glad, and the desert rejoice and blossom as the 

A minister, while visiting in his parish in one of the 
most destitute and degraded districts of a great city, 
after ascending a long, dark, winding stair, opened a door 
leading into a cheerless garret room. There on a pallet 
of straw, with no covering save her dirty, tattered gar- 
ments, lay an aged woman, to all appearance dying. 
Forgetting, for the moment, her outward circumstances, 
in his anxiety for the welfare of her soul, he inquired 
with all earnestness whether she had any hope for the 
world to come. " Oh, sir," she said, as she stretched out 
her naked, withered arm, " if you were as cold and 
hungry as I am, you could think of nothing else." That 
servant of God was taught the lesson that, to succeed in 
the highest aim of Christian love, our ministry must 
contemplate man in the whole extent of his being ; that 
the disciple of Christ, in so far as he imbibes the Master's 
spirit, will walk in the steps of His holy and comprehen- 
sive benevolence. 

The Lovedale Mission of South Africa, in connection 
with the Free Church of Scotland, with its college, in- 
dustrial department, medical mission, and flourishing 
native churches, is a model which the friends of missions 
would do well to study. We believe that the directors 
and supporters of our missionary societies at home, 
rather than the agents abroad, need to be taught that 


the great work of evangelizing the heathen ought not to be 
restricted to any one method, but that every mode of 
operation that manifests the spirit of the Gospel — every 
civilizing influence that the missionary can bring to bear 
upon the people, and that gives to Christianity a practical 
aspect — every such form of missionary effort, when made 
to subserve the one great purpose, lies within the scope 
of the Divine commission, and should have its place in 
the missionary enterprise. 

" If I were asked to explain the success of Lovedale," 
writes the able Superintendent of that mission, the Rev. 
Dr. Stewart, " I would say that, under God's blessing, it 
is chiefly due to the fact that we proceed on practical lines ^ 
which are always more difficult and laborious, but also 
more permanent in their effects, than those that are not 
so ; that the method recognizes man as having a body, 
as well as a soul; that while it gives due place and 
fullest prominence to the life to come, it also recognizes 
the hfe that now is, and proceeds on the belief that the 
future life can be duly, and best, prepared for, by the 
right performance of the duties of the life we have 
now. . . . The first preachers were sent to say that the 
Kingdom of God had come near ; but in support and 
commendation of that statement, they were also com- 
manded, as well as empowered, to do much of a lower 
kind of good. These subsidiary efforts, which they were 
commanded and empowered to put forth, were practical 
and tangible in their results, appreciable by the senses, 


and suited to the material or bodily necessities of those 
who were addressed. The directions in the tenth chap- 
ter of St. Matthew's Gospel are very explicit, and it is 
possible that when first given they were even more 

And again, Dr. Stewart says: "If it were possible 
that to-morrow the Christian benevolence of Great 
Britain, or even of London, in all its varied practical 
forms, were to be suddenly compelled to assume only 
one form — that of preaching — what would become of 
the ignorant, the sick, the hungry, and the helpless, of 
all sorts and conditions, who are now benefiting by their 
benevolence, taking on a multitude of shapes in addition 
to the one which stimulates and perfects them all, and 
which gives them a value beyond the present time ? 
Would the Christian Church itself be benefited by such 
a change? Or would the experience that has been 
gained as to what is necessary to be done, if we would 
reach the hearts of the helpless and despairing, in order 
to rouse them from the stupor of their misery and gain 
their ear, either endorse or accept that view? The 
heathen abroad, in uncivilized countries at least, corre- 
spond to the morally helpless and despairing at home j all 
the more closely do they correspond in those countries 
that lie adjacent to, or form part of, the territories of 
civilization, where their struggle for existence, and con- 
tinuance on their own soil, is severely feltj and where 
that civilization comes sweeping in upon them with great 


power, for evil as well as for good, and finds them unable 
to resist the one, or ready to accept the other, without 
guidance or assistance. This assistance, within certain 
hmits, in its earliest stages, must be given by the mis- 
sionary, if it is to be given at all — just as at home, the 
corresponding work is to be mainly done by the Chris- 
tian Church, or left undone." 

We, at home, can hardly realize the difficulties that 
a missionary has to contend with in his efforts to intro- 
duce the Gospel into heathen, and often uncivihzed, 
countries. Here, we are surrounded with every Christian 
influence, and with benevolent institutions and organiza- 
tions which testify, more emphatically than words, to the 
enlightening, humanizing, regenerating power of Chris- 
tianity. We have our colleges and schools, our hospitals 
for the sick, asylums for the insane and for the blind, 
refuges for the destitute, homes for the fallen and out- 
cast, associations for the relief of the aged and for 
improving the condition of the poor, reformatories for 
wayward and neglected children, and agencies without 
number to counteract almost every form of evil, and to 
meet every conceivable requirement. These auxiliaries 
to the Church's aggressive work are everywhere in active 
operation, and are generously supported, as the practical 
outcome of our Christianity, and are deemed essentially 
necessary to the successful prosecution of home mission- 
ary work. The missionary to the heathen, on the other 
hand, settles down among a people ignorant, super- 


stitious, and degraded, it may be, where no humanizing 
influences are at work, but where, on the contrary, the 
strong oppress the weak — where the sick are uncared for, 
or treated with barbarous cruelty — where the aged and 
infirm are counted a burden, and either perish from 
neglect or hnger on in misery — where the arts and usages 
of civilization are unknown — where, in short, httle or no 
vestige of anything but sin is to be seen. Under cir- 
cumstances such as these, what can the missionary do ? 
" Preach the Gospel," we say, for the " glorious Gospel of 
our blessed God " is the one only panacea for all the 
world's miseries. Yes, the Gospel is the "power of God " 
— the power which has made Britain a land of greatness, 
intelligence, and influence, beyond any other nation on 
the face of the globe ; it is the power which, again and 
again, has broken the arm of oppression and tyranny, 
and, dispelling from the minds of millions the dark 
clouds of ignorance and superstition, has raised the 
beggar from the dung-hill and set him among princes ; it 
is the power which, having tamed and humanized the 
savage nature, has chased idolatry from many a heathen 
land and from many of the islands of the sea, and 
which shall yet, everywhere, cause the " wilderness to be 
like Eden, and the desert like the garden of the Lord.' 
Yes, but much more is imphed in "preaching the 
Gospel " than the mere proclamation of the Divine mes- 
sage. The heathen can best be taught as little children 
are instructed in our schools — by object lessons. The 


Gospel must therefore be preached to them, ahke by the 
hving voice, and by the unmistakable evidence of loving 
deeds. Like the Apostle Paul, the true missionary, the 
workman that needeth not to be ashamed, must be able 
to say, " By word and deed, I have fully preached unto 
the Gentiles the Gospel of Christ." The Gospel means 
" Glad tidings," and preaching the Gospel means the 
setting forth of the best of all glad tidings — the love of 
God to man. To the heathen abroad, as well as to the 
godless at home, the most convincing proof of the reality 
and power of that love is, that it begets love for man ; 
and wherever, in carrying on our evangelistic operations, 
this practical demonstration of the power of the Gospel 
is withheld, the Gospel is not "fully preached." "If 
a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 
and one of you say unto them. Depart in peace, be ye 
warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not 
those things which are needful for the body, what doth 
it profit ? Even so, faith, if it hath not works, is dead, 
being alone. '^ "Faith, hope, charity, these three; but 
the greatest of these is charity " — love to God, begetting 
love for man; and what is the aim and object of Chris- 
tian love? It is the welfare of my brother, the welfare 
of his body, the welfare of his soul — his welfare for time, 
his welfare for eternity. To hold forth the Word of Life, 
along with a practical manifestation of the spirit of the 
Gospel, is therefore the true meaning of " Preaching the 
Gospel," and this is the aim and object of Medical Mis- 


sions, an enterprise which claims ahke the sympathy of 
the Christian and the Philanthropist. We believe that 
the Divine meaning of "preaching the Gospel" implies 
something more than the teaching of a dogma, than the 
mere proclamation of the Gospel message ; that, as He 
who is the sum and substance of the Gospel " was made 
flesh and dwelt among us " — that, as He sympathized 
with suffering humanity, fed the hungry, healed the sick, 
and went about continually doing good, thus manifesting 
the spirit of His own religion, and teaching, by loving 
deeds, its principles, so His ambassadors must "preach 
the Gospel," not by word only, but likewise by a benevo- 
lent, Christlike ministry, performed in Christ's name and 
for His sake. 

The evangelization of the world is Christ's own work, 
and those who, as His instruments, are called to engage 
in it, are commissioned to represent Christ — to represent 
Him in all His tender pity for the lost, His lovmg sym- 
pathy with the afflicted, His care for the sick. His com- 
passion for the suffering. We turn therefore to Christ's 
ministry on earth for the interpretation of His own 
commission, " Go ye into all the world, and preach the 
Gospel to every creature." 

In reading the New Testament, one cannot fail to be 
struck with the fact, that our Lord's personal ministry 
on earth, as well as that of His Apostles, was pre-emi- 
nently the work of the medical missionary. 

In the last three verses of the fourth chapter of St. 


Matthew's Gospel, we read : " And Jesus went about 
all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching 
the Gospel of the Kingdom, and heahng all manner of 
sickness and all manner of disease among the people ; 
and His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought 
unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers 
diseases and torments, and those that were lunatic, and 
those that had the palsy, and He healed them; and 
there followed Him great multitudes of people from 
Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and 
from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan." 

Jesus was just then entering upon His public ministry. 
He knew man's heart — the way to gain access to it — its 
prejudices, and the many obstacles in the way of the 
people receiving His teaching; and, knowing all this, such 
was the means He employed to reveal His character and 
claims, to remove prejudice, and to draw men to Him- 
self. By the exercise of His healing power. He gathered 
round Him a great congregation, with hearts overflowing 
with gratitude, and thus the searching truths of the 
" Sermon on the Mount " fell as living seed upon a 
prepared soil. 

Having finished His sermon on the mount. He imme- 
diately resumes His ministry of heahng, and " when He 
was come down from the mountain, great multitudes 
followed Him : and, behold there came a leper and 
worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst 
make me clean. And Jesus put forth His hand and 


touched him, saying, I will, be thou clean ; and imme- 
diately his leprosy was cleansed." His first act was to 
heal a leper ; His second, to cure the centurion's servant, 
sick of the palsy and grievously tormented ; His third, 
to restore Peter's wife's mother, sick of a fever; and then, 
"when the even was come, they brought unto Him many 
that were possessed with devils, and He cast out the 
spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick." 

Following the sacred narrative, down to the close of the 
ninth chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel we find it to be just a 
record (to use modern phraseology) of Christ's itinerant 
medical missionary work, concluding with these words, 
"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching 
in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the 
Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease 
among the people." 

When we inquire into the character of our Lord's 
miracles, we find that no fewer than twenty-three, or two- 
thirds of the whole, were miracles of healing, and it is 
evident that those which are recorded are but a i^y^^ 
compared with the many of which no details are given. 
When the Pharisees were consulting together how they 
might destroy Him, Jesus, we read, " withdrew Himself, 
and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them 
all" (Matt. xii. 15). After having cured the daughter of 
the woman of Canaan, He departed from the coasts of 
Tyre and Sidon " and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee, 
and went up into a mountain, and sat down there ; and 


great multitudes came unto Him, having with them those 
that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, 
and cast them down at Jesus' feet, and He healed them '' 
(Matt. XV. 30). Departing from Galilee, " He came into 
the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan, and great multitudes 
followed Him, and He healed them there." (Matt. xix. 
I, 2). Having returned to Jerusalem, "the blind and 
the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed 
them" (Matt. xxi. 14). And again, in (Luke iv. 40), we 
read, " Now when the sun was setting, all they that had 
any sick with divers diseases brought them unto Him, 
and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed 

If there is one feature more prominent than another 
in the record of our Lord's ministry on earth, it is the 
exercise of healing power which, everywhere and on 
all occasions, He displayed. These miracles of healing 
are not to be regarded as mere proofs of Christ's 
divinity ; this, they no doubt were, for when John heard 
of His mighty works he sent two of His disciples to ask, 
"Art thou He that should come, or do we look for 
another? Jesus answering, said unto them. Go your 
way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard, 
how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are 
cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor 
the Gospel is preached." *' My works," He said, " pro- 
claim me to be the Son of God, and the promised 
Messiah, concerning whom the prophet wrote, * He hath 


anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor, He hath 
sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliver- 
ance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the 
blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach 
the acceptable year of the Lord.' " These miraculous 
works of healing were unanswerable proofs that He was, 
what He claimed to be, the Son of God ; but they were 
more — they were living manifestations of the spirit of 
His own religion, they spoke a language intelligible to 
every human conscience : while they declared Him to 
be the Son of God with power, they at the same time 
revealed His tender compassion. His loving sympathy, 
His incomprehensible love, and in this light His own 
disciples regarded them as the fulfilment of the words 
spoken by Esaias, the prophet, "Himself took our 
infirmities and bare our sicknesses." Nor is this mani- 
festation of sympathy with human suffering confined 
alone to our Lord's miracles of healing. " Having 
compassion on the multitude," is the key that unlocks 
the meaning of nearly all His " mighty works ; " and in 
many of the parables by which He taught the people, 
as in His ordinary familiar intercourse with them and 
His disciples, the same deep compassion for, and 
sympathy with, human suffering are constantly displayed. 
As the Divine Author and Founder of Christianity, 
the record of our Lord's personal ministry must ever be 
to us deeply suggestive and instructive. Every feature 
of that ministry claims our devout attention. His mode 


of commending the truth, in so far as it was super- 
natural, we cannot imitate, but, in so far as it was in- 
tended as a manifestation of the spirit of the Gospel (as 
much needed now as then), '' He hath left us an example 
that we should follow in His steps." 

This aspect of our Lord's personal ministry brings us 
face to face with the Divine idea of preaching the 
Gospel — an idea which attaches very special importance 
to the method, and strikingly illustrates the principle of 
medical missions ; so much so, indeed, that the impartial 
student of Christ's hfe must be impressed with the 
conviction, that of all the methods employed by the 
Church as auxiliaries to her missionary work, this is the 
most Christ-like. 

We have not only our Lord's example, but also what 
is perhaps more emphatic. His direct command ; what He 
Himself did, He commissioned His Apostles and the 
first teachers of Christianity to do. " And when He 
had called unto Him His twelve disciples. He gave 
them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, 
and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of 
disease" (Matt. x. i). "And after these things, the 
Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them, two 
and two, before His face into every city and place, 
whither He Himself would come" (Lukex. i). To them 
He gave a similar commission, "And into whatsoever 
city ye enter, . . . heal the sick that are therein, and say 
unto them. The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you " 



(Luke X. 8, 9). The manner in which they fulfilled 
their commission is fully recorded in the inspired ac- 
count of the history of the primitive Church. What, 
indeed, is the book of the Acts of the Apostles, but the 
first report of the first Medical Missionary Society? 
Therein we find recorded such incidents as : " By the 
hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders 
wrought among the people ; insomuch that they brought 
forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds 
and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by 
might overshadow some of them. There came also a 
multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, 
bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with 
unclean spirits; and they were healed every one" 
(Acts v. 12, 15, 16). Again, we read, " Philip went down 
to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 
And the people with one accord gave heed unto those 
things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the 
miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with 
loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with 
them j and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, 
were healed; and there was great joy in that city'* 
(Acts viii. 5-8). Scarcely had Paul and Barnabas begun 
their missionary tour, than we read of Paul healing 
the impotent man at Lystra, who "had been a cripple 
from his mother's womb, and never had walked," and 
by the exercise of healing power so arrested the attention 
of the people, and drew forth their gratitude, that they 



brought oxen and garlands, and, thinking that Paul and 
Barnabas were " gods come down to them in the likeness 
of men," the priests with the people prepared to offer 
sacrifice to them, and thus an opportunity was given to 
the Apostles of declaring the Gospel to the Gentiles, and 
of urging them " to turn from their vanities to serve the 
living God" (Acts xiv. 8-18). During our own medical 
missionary experience in South India, we have repeatedly 
seen this incident almost literally enacted. 

Looking to the New Testament, therefore, for guid- 
ance as to the methods which ought to be employed by 
the Church in her missionary operations, it is, we 
think, plainly taught that Christ and His disciples 
preached the Gospel " by word and deed," and that the 
more we incorporate the healing of the sick with our 
evangelistic efforts, the more closely do we follow the 
Divine example, and the more fully do we obey the 
Master's command. 

It may be said, however, that it was by the forth- 
putting of His own Divine power that Christ did these 
mighty works which spread His fame throughout all 
Syria, and that it was in virtue of miraculous endow- 
ments (now no longer available) that His disciples made 
the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and the lame to walk, 
and that therefore their method cannot be intended as 
a model for our imitation. Such an inference would be 
legitimate, were these miracles of heahng intended merely 
as attestations to the Divinity of Christ, and as proofs of 


the Divine origin of the Gospel : but, as we have already 
seen, they were more than this — they were a practical 
manifestation of the compassionate spirit of the Gospel ; 
they spoke, in a language that could not be misunder- 
stood, of Him who came " not to destroy men's lives, 
but to save them ; " and surely, in so far as this was the 
object of these "mighty works," they are recorded for 
our instruction, teaching us that, in our missionary enter- 
prises, the consecration of the healing art to the service 
of the Gospel is not only in accordance with the Divine 
method, but actually forms part of the Divine intention. 

" And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God, 
and to heal the sick." **Go ye into all the world, and 
preach the Gospel to every creature." On two different 
occasions these twofold commissions were given by our 
Lord to His disciples, and through them to us. Is the 
one binding upon the Church now, and the other not ? 
In fulfilment of our Lord's parting commission, the 
Church has accepted the responsibility, notwithstanding 
the fact that the " gift of tongues " is not now, as then, 
miraculously bestowed, but the qualification which it 
conveyed must be patiently and laboriously acquired. 
Shall the command of our Lord in reference to " healing 
the sick," which formed so prominent a feature of His 
own ministry and that of His Aposdes, be ignored, be- 
cause what He and they did by the exercise of miraculous 
power can now be accomphshed only by the use of 
means ? We shall find, further on, illustration of the 


power of this agency in opening up the way for the 
Missionary of the Cross, and, in view of this, such an 
argument will have little weight. Nay, rather, the 
withdrawal of miraculous endowment renders it all the 
more imperative that we cultivate and consecrate, with 
the utmost energy and devotion, not only the science of 
philology, but also that of medicine, that so we may 
fulfil our Lord's commission in all its breadth and fulness, 
and, following His example, preach the Gospel " by word 
and deed." 

Apart altogether from such considerations as these, 
may we not find evidence in the inspired record of 
ordinary medical skill having its acknowledged place in 
the Christian system? In the reference made by the 
Apostle James to anointing the sick with oil, and praying 
over them, all who are familiar with Eastern manners 
and customs know that inunction with oil is the most 
common of all native remedies. Lightfoot, commenting 
on James v. 14, says, "Anointing with oil was an or- 
dinary medicinal application to the sick. If we take the 
Apostle's counsel as referring to this medicinal practice, 
we may construe it, that he would have this physical 
administration to be improved to the best advantage, 
namely, that whereas ' anointing with oil ' was ordinarily 
used to the sick by way of physic, he advises that they 
should send for the Elders of the Church to do it, 
that they, with the applying of this corporal physic, 
might also pray with and for the patient, and apply 


the spiritual physic of good admonition and comfort to 

Then, again, in the choice of Luke, "the beloved 
physician," as his travelling companion, may we not infer 
St Paul's recognition of the value of the medical element 
in the evangelist? Luke met Paul at Troas on the 
Apostle's journey from Galatia to Macedonia. During 
his visit to Galatia Paul suffered from some form of 
bodily affliction, and from his allusion to the readiness 
of the Galatians to show their devotion to him by pluck- 
ing out their own eyes if it had been possible and giving 
them to him, it is supposed that his infirmity was some 
affection of the eyes. From the " thorn in the flesh " he 
had again and again by prayer sought miraculous de- 
liverance, but received in answer the promise of all-suf- 
ficient grace to sustain him in his affliction. St. Paul 
was taught that miraculous power is not to be exercised 
to make life less a sacrifice and burden to God's servants. 
Jesus Himself never used this power to make life easier 
to Himself ; consequently when Paul's trouble was not to 
be miraculously removed, what more natural than that 
he should avail himself of the best medical skill he could 
command ? And hence, hearing of Luke's conversion and 
of his skill as a physician, he seeks the benefit of his 
advice, and secures his co-operation in the prosecution 
of his mission ^ and by and by, when Paul left Luke at 
Philippi, where he continued to labour for some seven 
years, may he not be regarded as a medical missionary 


placed in charge of the infant Philippian Church ? View- 
ing his position in this light, Neander observes : " His 
skill would be very useful in securing many an oppor- 
tunity for publishing the Gospel among the heathen. 
Christianity, in its earliest stages, used miracles to con- 
firm as well as to embody its Divine message of mercy to 
mankind ; but even in Apostolic times we have indica- 
tions that medical skill and devotedness were employed 
to open the way for the Gospel messenger." ^ 

Thus far have we endeavoured to show that, while the 
Gospel is the one only antidote to all the world's sins and 
sorrows, to prove effectual it must be proclaimed by living 
witnesses to its transforming power, and its Divine energy 
must be manifested in a living embodiment of its benefi- 
cent design — that He Himself " went about continually 
doing good," and when He sent forth His disciples to evan- 
gelize, He said unto them, " Heal the sick, and say unto 
them. The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you ; " that, 
indeed, teaching, preaching, and healing the sick are 
closely interwoven with the entire history of New Testa- 
ment missionary operations. We have tried to point out, 
further, that while this ministry of healing was exercised 
by miraculous interposition, yet there is no reason why 
the Church should neglect this duty ; because, in so far 
as these " mighty works " were performed as the outcome 

' We refer the reader to an interesting and suggestive paper on 
this subject, entitled " Luke, the Beloved Physician," by the Rev. 
Robert McCheyne Edgar, M.A., in the British and Foreign Evan- 
gelical Revinv for April, 1883. 



and embodiment of the spirit of the Gospel, it is in the 
power of the Church still to manifest the same com- 
passion by the adoption of the very same means — by the 
consecration of medical science to the service of the 
Gospel, and, moreover, there is evidence in the sacred 
narrative that such is the Divine intention. 




IT might have been expected that the facts referred to, 
regarding our Lord's personal ministry and that of 
His Apostles, and which stand out so prominently in the 
New Testament narrative, would have naturally suggested 
to the fathers and founders of the modern missionary 
enterprise the idea of incorporating medical missions with 
their earliest efforts. Strange to say, however, medical 
missions are yet in their infancy, and although, wherever 
established, their value has been abundantly proved, and 
although the needs of the heathen, as well as of the 
missionaries and their famihes, are so manifest, yet, even 
in this age of practical evangelistic activity, their very 
existence is known to comparatively few, and too many of 


these, we fear, have but a vague idea of what a medical 
mission really is. Such misconceptions regarding the 
aims and objects of medical missions exist even in our 
Mission Boards, that recently, in answer to the application 
of a most promising medical missionary student for an 
appointment, the following official reply was given : — 
" It is not our province to send out and support medical 
men in charge of dispensaries and hospitals in our mission 
fields. Our agents are sent forth to preach the Gospel to 
the heathen." Such a reply indicates not only a want of 
sympathy with the work, but a complete misconception 
as to the nature and objects of medical missions. It is 
essentially necessary, therefore, that the position and 
functions of the medical missionary should be clearly 
understood before the claims of his work can be duly 
appreciated, and these we shall proceed, as briefly as 
possible, to define. 

From a merely humanitarian point of view, and as a 
purely philanthropic agency, our missionary societies are 
not called upon to send forth, nor would they be justi- 
fied in supporting physicians, as such, in charge of 
hospitals and dispensaries in connection, with their 
missions. It is for the evangelization of the heathen that 
our missionary societies exist ; for this purpose their 
resources are provided, and for this object only can they 
be legitimately applied. The sacred, solemn trust com- 
mitted to the Directorate of these societies, is to discover 
and employ such agencies only as bear the stamp of the 


Divine approval, embody the spirit of the Gospel, and 
shall most effectually accomplish the object in view. 
Various evangelistic methods have been employed as 
auxiliary agencies in connection with the missionary 
enterprise, and it is as one of these that we advocate 
medical missions. 

The function, par excellence^ of the medical missionary 
is that of the evangelist. He claims to be as truly a 
missionary, in the ecclesiastical sense of the word, as his 
ministerial brother j both have been educated and trained 
for the same great work, and both are equally unworthy 
of the name they bear if they fail to make evangelistic 
work the grand aim and object of their presence in the 
mission field. We emphasize this view of the medical 
missionary's sphere and function; first, and foremost, must 
be his missionary qualifications, and from a missionary 
standpoint the success of his work must be estimated. 
This is no theoretical view of the medical missionary's 
position. No true missionary physician would be satis- 
fied with any other, and no missionary society would be 
justified in sending forth to engage in this ministry a 
missionary physician whose estimate of his work is lower. 

Let us not, however, be misunderstood. While main- 
taining that the true position and function of the medical 
missionary is that of the evangelist, we by no means 
under-estimate the importance of his strictly professional 
qualifications. In this, as in all other departments of 
missionary service, the consecration of the very highest 


attainments is not only desirable, but necessary. Indeed, 
none but men whose professional abilities are above the 
average should be accepted for this department of service. 
The circumstances in which the missionary physician 
may be placed, are much more exacting, and necessitate 
a far greater amount of professional skill and self-reliance, 
than is the case in this country. Here, when compli- 
cations and difficulties are met with in practice, the 
physican may obtain the help of a brother practitioner, 
who will share with him the responsibility — while there, as 
a rule, the medical missionary finds himself located where 
no such help can be obtained. On the contrary, till 
he shall have trained from among the natives his own 
assistants, he must act as dispenser, dresser, and nurse; 
he must be his own consulting physician and surgeon, 
and himself be president, committee, and officer of the 
Local Board of Health, architect, master-builder, medical 
staff, purveyor, and general superintendent of his hospital 
and dispensary. He must be qualified to teach to others 
the principles and practice of his profession ; he must be 
prepared for all emergencies, not in one, but in all 
departments of his professional work. Probably he will 
not be long in the field, before he will be called upon to 
treat cases which will tax his skill and self-reliance to the 
utmost; and these, it must be borne in mind, are the 
very cases which, from a medical missionary point of 
view, make their influence felt, either for or against the 
one great object in view — the opening of the door for 


the proclamation of the Gospel message. It is not the 
cases that require little or no skill in their treatment — 
not cases which the Hakim or native physician can 
somehow cure as successfully, perhaps, as the European 
doctor j but the cases which will pioneer the way for the 
missionary, and open the fountain of gratitude, and, with 
God's blessing, prepare the heart to receive God's message 
of redeeming love, are just such as the skilled hand only 
can relieve, and the accomplished and thoroughly trained 
physician alone can understand and treat. For this 
department of service, therefore, no ordinary professionaJ 
qualifications will do ; the work demands, and surely it 
may claim, the consecration of the best talents and the 
highest accomplishments. 

We cannot help here deprecating, very strongly, the 
plan adopted by some missionary societies of giving 
their students a very partial training in medicine and 
surgery, and sending them forth as medical missionaries. 
In no department of service is it more true than in the 
practice of medicine, that "a little knowledge is a 
dangerous thing." It is no light responsibihty to under- 
take the treatment of disease, especially in circumstances 
such as these in which the missionary is so often placed; 
and yet, for such a responsible duty, some of our mission 
boards are satisfied with men, whose knowledge of the 
healing art is just sufficient to reveal their utter incapacity 
when their help is called for in cases of serious illness, 
severe accidents, or other emergencies. The Directors 


of our missionary societies would, we doubt not, be 
among the first to protest against such a reprehensible 
system in providing for the medical relief of our poor at 
home, or even of the convicts in our gaols. For the 
medical care of our native troops in India and elsewhere, 
none but the very best men are selected, and, moreover, 
they must undergo a prolonged and special course of 
instruction in tropical diseases before they are placed in 
charge. Shall only duly qualified and competent men be 
eligible for the service of our Queen and country, and 
men who have acquired only a very limited knowledge of 
medicine, and no legal qualifications, be deemed suffi- 
ciently qualified for the service of Christ in the mission 
field ? Surely there is something wrong if such a prin- 
ciple has the sanction and approval of the Church ! If 
it were the case that fully qualified men, constrained by 
the love of Christ, are not available to meet the require- 
ments of the missionary enterprise — while it would be 
humiliating for the Church of Christ to have to make 
such a confession, and dishonouring to the noble pro- 
fession of medicine, from the ranks of which there is no 
lack of candidates for all other services — there would, 
in such circumstances, be some excuse for our missionary 
societies accepting partially educated men for this de- 
partment of work ; but there are, at this moment, not a 
few medical men in practice, in cities and towns through- 
out our land, and many young medical students at our 
Universities and medical schools, burning with the 


desire to consecrate their life, energies, and talents, upon 
the missionary altar — waiting for the Church's call, and 
ready to respond to it. Let the Church awake to her 
duty and responsibility in regard to this enterprise, and 
let our missionary societies cordially invite the co-opera- 
tion of medical missionaries, and we do not hesitate to 
assert that there will be no lack of earnest, devoted, 
enthusiastic candidates, for this Christ-like service in the 
high places of the field. 

We do not object to a missionary student acquiring 
what knowledge of medicine he can, before going forth 
to his work. In all ordinary cases of illness, in his own 
family, and among the people, such knowledge will prove 
of service, but we protest against such partially trained 
men being sent out by our missionary societies as 
guardians of the health of their missionaries, and as 
their accredited agents to treat the diseases of the 
people, so long as thoroughly educated and fully quali- 
fied medical missionaries are prepared, at the call of the 
Church, to say, "Here am I, send me." 

Let it then be clearly understood, that when we speak 
of medical missionaries we do not mean missionaries 
with a partial knowledge of medicine, acquired, some- 
how, while prosecuting their theological studies \ but we 
mean men who, having given good evidence that they 
possess evangelistic gifts, and the true missionary spirit, 
have systematically studied medicine and surgery, and 
have obtained legal qualifications to practise. 



A question of great practical importance here suggests 
itself. The medical missionary goes forth to the mission 
field as an evangelist. His primary object is identical 
with that of his clerical colleague. Should not the 
medical missionary, therefore, be formally "set apart" 
to the work, and his missionary character and claims be 
officially recognized by the Church ? We venture to 
say, that our missionary societies are making a mistake 
in sending forth their medical missionaries without, in 
some way, solemnly and publicly recognizing them as 
" the messengers of the churches." We believe this 
omission accounts for much of the misapprehension, so 
prevalent, regarding the nature of the medical missionary's 
work, and the position he ought to occupy in the mission 
field ; even in his own estimation, his sphere and func- 
tion are apt to assume a less spiritual aspect than they 
otherwise would, and the temptation to withdraw from 
direct missionary work, and to cultivate private practice, 
is consequently less easily resisted. We can testify 
from experience, that the fact of having been solemnly 
" set apart " to the work of the Lord, fortifies the medical 
missionary, in no small degree, to withstand such allure- 

The question next arises, as to the form which the 
ecclesiastical recognition of the medical missionary should 
assume — to what office shall he be " set apart ? " We 
have had intimations sent to us from some of our great 
missionary societies, that they can accept as medical 


missionaries such only as are prepared to offer themselves 
for ordination to the office of the ministry. That is to 
say, that fully qualified young men, inspired with the 
true missionary spirit, offering themselves for this service, 
instead of being sent forth at once to their work, shall 
forego medical practice for two, three, or four years, as 
the case may be, and devote themselves to theological 
study, in order that they may be eligible for ordination. 
Now, nothing is more important for a medical student, 
on obtaining his degree, than that he should immediately 
avail himself of opportunities for gaining practical pro- 
fessional experience. Any prolonged delay in applying 
the knowledge he has acquired will assuredly prove 
prejudicial to his future professional success. We hold, 
therefore, that it is unreasonable to expect that a young 
man, at the close of his medical curriculum, should, 
for a longer or shorter period, abandon professional 
work, in order to engage in a course of theological study, 
just at the time when he should be turning his theoretical 
knowledge to practical account. Is it, however, really 
desirable that the medical missionary should receive 
ordination to the office of the ministry ? Most emphati- 
cally and without hesitation, we say that, as a rule, it is 
not. In view of the position which we claim for him, 
does it not seem unreasonable to expect, that while the 
missionary physician is enthusiastically engaged in his 
own special sphere, he should at the same time be 
required to undertake the duties of the clerical mis- 


sionary ? We know of several instances where, owing to 
the want of a due appreciation of this agency on the 
part of home committeeSj most accomphshed missionary 
physicians have been sent out as ordained clerical 
agents, and have had, like other missionaries, pastoral 
and educational work assigned to them, and, conse- 
quently, their usefulness and influence as medical 
missionaries have been scarcely appreciable. 

We plead with all earnestness that our medical 
missionaries be ordained or " set apart " to their work ; 
but their work, we maintain, is not that of the pastor — 
not that of presiding over and organizing native churches 
and mission schools, and superintending the native 
evangelists and teachers. The medical missionary will, 
as he has time and opportunity, co-operate with his 
clerical colleague in all such work, but the proper calling 
of the medical missionary is that of the evangelist, and 
to the office and work of the evangelist, therefore, let 
him be " set apart." Let him, after due examination as 
to his evangelistic qualifications, be officially recognized 
and sent forth, with the imprimatur of the Church to 
which he belongs, as her duly accredited messenger to 
the heathen; and, further, let such recognition imply 
that, in the exceptional circumstances in which he may 
sometimes be placed, with no ministerial brother at hand, 
he may when required dispense the ordinances of the 
Church. Surely no section of the Church of Christ is so 
fettered by conventional forms, tliat she will refuse to 


confer such a recognition upon those whom she sends 
forth as her representatives to the heathen to engage in 
this Christ-like work. 

To our mind, there is certainly much more scriptural 
authority for " setting apart " the medical missionary as 
an evangelist, than there is for ordaining to the office of 
the ministry the missionary sent forth to superintend 
educational work, whose time and strength must neces- 
sarily, and to a very large extent, be devoted to secular 
teaching. The Great Head of the Church, we are told, 
called His twelve disciples together, ** and He sent them 
two and two before His face into every city and place, 
and said unto them, Heal the sick that are therein, and 
say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto 
you." We are taught, moreover, that the evangelist is as 
much a Divine gift to the Church as is the pastor. " He 
gave some apostles, and some prophets; and some 
evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the per- 
fecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the 
edifying of the body of Christ" 

What we ask the Church to do, therefore, is just what 
the Great Head of the Church Himself did — to recog- 
nize the medical missionary as an evangelist, one of 
God's appointed gifts, and to send him forth to his 
work as much the accredited ambassador of the Church 
as his ministerial colleague. 

A few years ago the following memorial on this subject 
was addressed by the "Edinburgh Medical Missionary 


Society " to the Foreign Mission Committee of the Free 
Church of Scotland, and to the Mission Boards of the 
other Churches in the United Kingdom : — 

" The Directors desire to memoriahze the Committee 
on Foreign Missions in regard to a subject which is grow- 
ing rapidly in importance, and seems to claim the atten- 
tion of all evangelical churches. It is the ecclesiastical 
status of the medical missionary. They take this step 
in the hope and expectation that the Committee on 
Foreign Missions will aid them in bringing the subject 
before the General Assembly, for the sake of those students 
of the Livingstone Memorial Training Institution who 
happen to be engaged as agents in their service, or are 
members of their communion. In doing so, it seems 
proper to mention that they contemplate the transmission 
of a similar memorial to the Foreign Mission Boards of 
the other churches in Scotland, England, and Ireland. 

" The following considerations, stated as concisely as 
possible, will indicate the line of thought which has led 
them to conclude that every medical missionary ought to 
receive ecclesiastical recognition. 

" I. It is an obvious duty of the Christian Church to 
sympathize with, and encourage, every scriptural method 
of carrying out the Master's farewell injunction. 

" 2. The medical mission principle is in close accord- 
ance with the example both of the Lord Himself, and of 
His immediate followers, and experience amply attests 
the value of this form of mission agency. 


" 3. Hitherto, the medical missionary, however compe- 
tent, both as a thoroughly-educated professional man, and 
as a trained evangehst, has never received any eccle- 
siastical recognition, unless, in addition to his professional 
qualifications, he has passed through a more or less com- 
plete curriculum of theological study, entitling him, after 
due presbyterial examination, to receive license as a 

" 4. A few exceptional instances, it is true, have been 
met with, in which this combination has proved satis- 
factory, but to regard it as essential would prove a serious 
impediment to the cause of medical missions. The study 
of surgery and medicine now covers so wide a field, that 
it taxes the mental energies of students — of those especi- 
ally who aim at exceptional eminence — so that, to do any 
justice to a complete theological course, pursued simul- 
taneously, would be simply impossible; while for a young 
medical man to address himself to the latter, after he 
had acquired his diploma or degree, w^ould be very 
prejudicial to his prospects of future usefulness in his 
profession. A course of theology, extending over three 
or four years, would have the inevitable effect of prevent- 
ing him from acquiring that practical experience which is 
so essential, and of blunting the edge of all his previous 
attainments. The result would certainly be to mar him 
as a surgeon. 

'* 5. No young man is admitted as a student of the 
Livingstone Memorial Institution until his personal re- 


ligious history, his missionary spirit, and his general 
qualifications for missionary work have been carefully 
inquired into ; his medical studies are thereafter pursued 
at the Edinburgh School of Medicine — either intra-mural 
or extra-mural — and all the time (four years) while 
breathing, so to speak, a mission atmosphere, he be- 
comes practically familiar with evangelistic work, in its 
various aspects. What the Directors desire is this : that 
having got the imprimatur of the Medical School as a 
surgeon and physician, he should also get the imprimatur 
of the Church before going forth to the foreign field as a 
medical missionary. 

" The Directors would suggest that, after a reasonable, 
tender, considerate examination by a Presbyterial Com- 
mittee, he should be set apart, or ordained, as an evangel- 
ist — a designation not new to the Presbyterian churches, 
applicable also, as we imagine, to the case of churches 
other than Presbyterian, and, moreover, a designation 
accurately descriptive of his rightful office and work. 

"In thoroughly-equipped missions, the medical mis- 
sionary might occupy the position of ruling elder, so as 
to strengthen the hands of the clerical missionary, and 
aid him in forming a session ; but in pioneer missions — 
for which the medical missionary seems specially suited — 
his status as evangelist, for which the Directors are now 
pleading, might reasonably admit of his dispensing seal- 
ing ordinances, when these happen to be called for in 
exceptional circumstances. Of course, should an or- 


dained clerical missionary be eventually added to the 
mission, the medical evangelist would retire, for the time 
at least, from the performance of these functions." 

This memorial was very favourably received by the 
Mission Boards of the various churches, and the assu- 
rance was given that its proposals would be carefully 
considered by their Directors, while the Foreign Mission 
Committee of the Free Church of Scotland, and the 
Mission Board of the United Presbyterian Church, have 
already, to a great extent, adopted the suggestions, and, 
before sending them forth to the mission field, their 
medical missionaries are now formally and publicly recog- 
nised as the Church's ambassadors to the heathen. 

With regard to the training of the medical missionary, 
enough has been said to show that his professional edu- 
cation must be thorough and comprehensive ; and, it 
should be added, specially so in surgery. Natives, 
almost everywhere, have a kind of intuitive knowledge of 
the medicinal virtue of indigenous plants, and although 
they are, as a rule, utterly ignorant of the diseases they 
presume to treat, yet much confidence is placed in the 
native doctors and their nostrums, and, somehow, they 
do at times appear to effect wonderful cures ; but they 
can do nothing whatever in surgery, even in the simplest 
cases : if anything at all is attempted, it is almost sure to 
be the reverse of what ought to be done. In the skilful 
practice of surgery ,therefore, the medical missionary's 
influence will be most felt and appreciated, and to this 


department, while a student, he ought to give very 
special attention. 

It is not, however, to the professional training of the 
medical missionary that we here refer ; we may leave 
this with perfect confidence to our universities and 
medical schools, and accept the medical and surgical 
diplomas which they grant as satisfactory evidence that 
he is, professionally, fully qualified for his work. The 
success of the medical missionary is not to be estimated 
by his fame as a physician or surgeon, except in so far as 
he has grace and wisdom to use the influence thus ac- 
quired for the promotion of the great object in view — 
success will show itself in his being wise to win souls. 
Not every Christian physician, therefore, is qualified for 
the work of a medical missionary. The cause has suf- 
fered not a little from so-called medical missionaries 
having been sent forth to the mission field — men who 
have had no special training for the work, and have pos- 
sessed no special evangelistic gift. 

The training of the medical missionary must, to a 
large extent, be practical. He must be a devout believer, 
holding with a firm and intelligent grasp the saving truths 
of the Gospel, a thoughtful student of the Bible, and 
possessed of evangelistic gifts ; such a man may surely 
be trusted to preach to the heathen the simple truths of 
Christianity, without any special systematic instruction in 
the technicalities and controversies of theological science. 
Much wisdom and care should, however, be exercised in 


the selection for training of young men who are desirous 
of devoting themselves to this work. Added to sound 
health, good mental ability, enthusiastic love of the pro- 
fession, and, above all, evidence of the constraining 
influence of the love of Christ, one other qualification is 
essential, namely, the possession of the gifts and graces 
needed to make them successful evangehsts ; and during 
their course of study, they should have every opportunity, 
under proper superintendence, for acquiring experience, 
in combining their professional work with judicious but 
zealous evangelistic effort. This is the aim and object 
of the training institution in connection with the Edin- 
burgh Medical Missionary Society ; and we can desire 
no better evidence of the value of the practical medico- 
evangelistic training there enjoyed by the medical mis- 
sionary students, than the successful work accomplished 
by those who have gone forth from the institution, and 
are now occupying spheres of influence and usefulness in 
the mission field, all over the world. 

Another question of great practical importance calls 
for consideration. Some friends of the cause think that 
medical missionaries should be allowed to better their 
circumstances either by engaging, to a limited extent, in 
private practice, where opportunities for such practice 
exist, or, that they should receive a higher rate of salary 
than ordinary missionaries. 

To both of these proposals we most emphatically 
object. The one implies, on the part of the medical 


missionary, a half-hearted consecration to the work, and 
has given rise to no end of difficulties; the other, that 
he possesses certain gifts and qualifications which may, 
under certain circumstances, give him greater opportuni- 
ties for usefulness, and that he ought therefore to be 
more highly remunerated. Such a principle, if acted 
upon, would strike at the root of missionary consecration 
abroad, and quench the true missionary spirit at home. 
The medical missionary goes forth, not from worldly 
motives, not for the sake of salary, but for his Master's 
sake, rejoicing in this, that if his acquirements gain for 
him a greater influence, and a readier access to the 
households of the heathen, he enjoys all the higher 
privilege in being permitted to consecrate such gifts and 
graces upon the missionary altar. 

When a medical missionary goes out to India, or to 
China, two paths are open before him — the path of 
worldly advancement and profit, and the path of self- 
sacrifice and consecration to his special work. If he 
yield to the temptation to cultivate a select, private 
practice, or to accept some lucrative appointment, he 
may soon secure for himself a good income; but, in 
doing so, let him clearly understand that he is turning 
aside from his proper work, and is applying to his special 
department of service a principle which, if applied to 
other departments, as with equal justice it might be, 
would speedily bring the missionary enterprise into 


On this point, in a paper on " Medical ^lissions," read 
at a missionary conference in Japan, Dr. John C. Berry, 
of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign 
Missions, says : 

"I must here call attention to an evil which has, 
in too many instances, embarrassed the efforts and 
weakened the influence of medical missionaries. I refer 
to the too prevalent custom of engaging in private 
practice among the foreign residents at the open ports, 
where there are established medical men. The practice 
is unjust to the physician, to the patients, to ourselves, 
and, in an inexpressible degree, to the general interests of 
our work ; — to the physician, in unfairly competing with 
him, and depriving him of much of his legitimate in- 
come ; to the patients, who, in learning to look to us as 
their family physician, are obhged, during our absence 
on frequent tours, to receive the professional services of 
another, who may know nothing of the constitutional 
peculiarities of the family ; to ourselves, in burdening us 
with additional cares, and depriving us of that deep sense 
of satisfaction which an extended and prosperous work 
on purely mission hues affords ; and to the general 
interests of the work, in that it takes from it very much 
valuable time, constantly introduces to our notice a work 
which tends to weaken our sympathy with missionary 
effort, and awakens in the minds, both of the resident 
foreigners and native people, a suspicion of our personal 
disinterestedness and entire devotion to the cause." 


The position which we have indicated as that which 
the medical missionary should occupy, can only be filled 
by one separated for the work by God Himself. Con- 
templating this work, grand alike in its medical and 
missionary aspects, we may well exclaim, "Who is suf- 
ficient for these things ? " The reply of the true medical 
missionary will be, " Our sufficiency is of God." In his 
experience it holds true, as in the experience of all whom 
God calls into His service, " to him that hath shall be 

We cannot perhaps better illustrate what we believe to 
be the proper sphere and function of the medical mis- 
sionary, than by offering a few hints suggested by our 
own experience of medical missionary work in India. 

During his first year in India, China, or elsewhere, the 
medical missionary ought to devote his chief time and 
attention to the acquisition of the language. If possible, 
he should reside during that period with an experienced 
missionary, at some distance from the station where he 
expects eventually to establish his medical mission, but 
where the same language is spoken. Unless some such 
arrangement is made, he will soon find himself burdened 
with the anxieties of a large practice, which will sadly in- 
terfere with his linguistic studies. We attach so much 
importance to the first year being kept almost entirely 
free for the study of the language, that we strongly re- 
commend that his full medical and surgical outfit should 
not be supplied till he has passed his examination in the 


vernacular. Experience proves that if at the close of 
the first year a good beginning has not been made in the 
acquisition of the language, after progress is very slow, 
and the missionary's usefulness suffers irreparably during 
his whole future course. 

Having acquired some degree of fluency in the use 
of the language, he should open his dispensary in as 
central a locality as possible. From the first he should, 
if practicable, associate with himself an earnest, intelli- 
gent, judicious native evangelist — not with the view of 
delegating to another his evangelistic duties, but for the 
purpose of following up, thoroughly and systematically, 
his own spiritual ministrations. In his visits the native 
evangelist should accompany him, and in all his labours 
he should be closely identified with him. As the work 
goes on, the medical missionary will lose sight of many of 
his patients, who, no longer needing his advice, pass away 
from his observation and influence ; but these the native 
evangelist should follow to their homes and regularly 
visit, and, as a rule, he will always be gladly welcomed. 

At the dispensary, in commencing the work of the 
day, the medical missionary should himself address the 
patients and their friends assembled in the waiting-room, 
and conduct a short service with them. The native 
evangelist should, however, be present, and, while the 
cases are being examined, he should make sure that no 
one shall leave without having been personally dealt 
with, and directed to the Great Physician for spiritual 


healing. By taking advantage in this way of native help, 
a vast amount of most hopeful evangehstic work may be 
daily accomplished, and much permanent fruit be 
gathered in. 

Two or three intelligent native Christian youths should 
as soon as possible be selected and trained as assistants. 
They will soon be able to dispense medicines, serve as 
dressers, and do all the drudgery of dispensary work, and 
thus much of the medical missionary's time will be set 
free for more important duties. Whatever he can train 
his native assistants to do as well as he can himself, 
ought never, as a rule, to occupy his time and attention. 
In training his native assistants, Bible reading, exposition, 
and prayer should inaugurate each day's teaching and 
work, and he ought constantly to impress upon their 
minds that their highest aim should ever be the spiritual 
welfare of the patients. 

He should, as soon as circumstances permit, open a 
hospital, on a small scale at first — perhaps only providing 
accommodation for two or three patients, but gradually 
increasing the number of beds as funds are forthcoming 
and the need arises. It is in the hospital that the most 
satisfactory and successful medical and surgical work will 
be accomplished — work which will produce the deepest 
impression, and direct public attention most favourably 
to the higher objects of the mission. It is here, too, 
that the medical missionary will be able most successfully 
to accomplish evangelistic work — here that he may expect 


to gather the most precious and enduring fruit. While 
dispensary work, and occasionally medico-evangelistic 
tours among the surrounding towns and villages, are 
important features of medical missionary work, still the 
hospital will be the field in which the richest harvest will 
be reaped, and therefore the establishment of a hospital 
should from the first be kept in view, and accomplished 
at the earliest opportunity. 

The medical care of the missionaries and their 
famiHes will form no small nor unimportant part of 
his duties, but, with this exception, the medical mis- 
sionary should have as little as possible to do with 
practice among Europeans ; he should certainly decline 
such practice where other medical aid can be obtained, 
and while ready, under other circumstances, to stretch 
forth the helping hand whenever and wherever his aid 
may be needed, he will never fail to put the disinterested- 
ness of his motives beyond all suspicion by placing to 
the credit of the mission whatever fees he may receive. 

While his time will generally be well occupied in 
attending to his own special department of work, still, by 
taking full advantage of native help, he will, by and by, 
find both time and opportunity for promoting, in co- 
operation with his ministerial colleagues, schemes for 
the physical, social, and intellectual improvement of the 
people, and occasionally for more or less extended 
medico-evangelistic tours. 

It is of the utmost importance that harmony should 



exist between the medical missionary and his ministerial 
colleagues, and in order to maintain this, both must 
esteem each other very highly for their works' sake, must 
consult one with another, and manifest mutual sympathy 
in all that pertains to their respective spheres of labour. 
There must be perfect equality, perfect confidence, and 
hearty co-operation. They must look upon the work in 
all its departments as one, and work hand in hand in all 
their efforts. Carried on in this spirit, and on the lines 
which we have indicated, the value of medical missions 
can hardly be over-estimated. 












AS a means of overcoming prejudice, and of gaining 
access to heathen, and often exclusive, com- 
munities, medical missions present strong claims to the 
sympathy and support of the friends of missions. The 
suspicion and prejudice with which the Christian mis- 
sionary is often regarded in Mohammedan countries, as 
well as in many parts of the heathen world, render our 
endeavours to reach the people, and introduce the Gospel 
amongst them, a work of great difficulty, and often even 
of danger. Gross ignorance, superstition, and fanaticism, 
caste, social habits, and national prejudices, are barriers 
which the mere missionary finds it difficult to overcome, 
and which may compel him to remain for years isolated 


and shunned, if not despised, and thus the opportunity 
of doing good for which he yearns is utterly denied him 
whilst, to the missionary physician, the hovel and the 
palace are alike opened at his approach, suspicions are 
allayed, prejudice is disarmed, caste distinction, for the 
time at least, is overcome ; even the harem, where the 
brother may not intrude, is not too sacred for the 
" infidel " when he enters as an angel of mercy to the 
sick and dying : thus, as the missionary pioneer, he 
opens and holds open many a door of Christian useful- 
ness — to these he introduces his brethren, thus enlarging 
their sphere of service as well as his own. 

Sir Henry Halford, late President of the Royal College 
of Physicians, in an address on " The Results of the 
Successful Practice of Physic " delivered many years ago 
to the college, related an interesting historical fact from 
which he deduced an important practical lesson. "A 
circumstance," Sir Henry said, " most flattering to the 
medical profession is the establishment of the East India 
Company's power on the coast of Coromandel, procured 
from the Great Mogul in gratitude for the efficient help 
of Dr. Gabriel Boughton in a case of great distress. It 
seems that in the year 1636 one of the princesses of the 
imperial family had been dreadfully burnt, and a mes- 
senger was sent to Surat to desire the assistance of one 
of the English surgeons there, when Boughton proceeded 
forthwith to Delhi, and performed the cure. On the 
minister of the Great Mogul asking him what his master 


could do for him to manifest his gratitude for so im- 
portant a service, Boughton answered, with a disin- 
terestedness, a generosity, and a patriotism beyond all 
praise, 'Let my nation trade with yours.' 'Beit so,' 
was the reply. A portion of the coast was marked out 
for the resort of English ships, and all duties were com- 
promised for a small sum of money. Here did the 
civilization of that vast continent commence — and hence 
the blessed light of the Gospel began to be promulgated 
among the millions of idolaters, since subjugated to the 
control of the British power. This happy result of the 
successful interposition of one of our medical brethren 
suggests to my mind the question of the expediency 
of educating missionaries in the medical art. I am 
sanguine enough to believe that even the proud and 
exclusive Chinese would receive those who entered their 
country with these views without suspicion or distrust, 
which they never fail to manifest when they surmise that 
trade is the object of the strangers' visit or some covert 
intention to interfere with their institutions." 

Another instance of the happy influence exerted by 
the professional services of a British surgeon occurred 
in 1 7 13 — when the success of an embassy of complaint, 
sent by the Presidency of Bengal to the Court of Delhi 
was mainly due to Mr. Hamilton, surgeon of the embassy, 
having cured a painful disease with which the Emperor 
was afflicted. Mr. Hamilton was offered any reward he 
chose to ask, and he generously confined himself to 


requesting the Emperor's compliance with the demands 
of the embassy, which was instantly granted ; and thus 
privileges of the greatest importance were obtained which 
enabled the East India Company to establish their pos- 
sessions on a sure basis. 

From a worldly point of view, how vast are the results 
which have flowed from the skill and disinterestedness 
of these men ; and what the love of their profession and 
their patriotism led them to do for their country, might 
surely be accompHshed by the missionary physician, who 
goes forth, impelled by the love of Christ, to heal the sick 
and to preach the Gospel. In his " Hints on Missions," 
published so long ago as 1822, Mr. Douglas of Cavers 
writes : " If with scientific attainments missionaries com- 
bined the profession of physic, it would be attended with 
many advantages ; for there is something suspicious in 
a foreigner remaining long in a country without an openly 
defined object which the people can appreciate. The 
character of a physician has always been highly honoured 
in the East, and would give an easy and unsuspected 
admission to familiar intercourse with all classes and 
creeds. He who is a physician is pardoned for being 
a Christian, religious and national prejudices disappear 
before him, all hearts and harems are opened, and he is 
welcomed as if he were carrying to the dying the ehxir 
of immortality." 

The experience of travellers and of missionaries every- 
where, bears emphatic testimony to the value of medical 


missions as a pioneer agency. The late Dr. Asahel 
Grant is described, among the Nestorians, as armed with 
his needle and lancet for the removal of cataract, forcing 
mountain passes which the sword could never penetrate, 
and in the wilds of the Nestorian mountains, and amid 
ferocious warriors, winning his way to their homes and 
hearts, and traversing in safety regions hitherto untrodden 
by civilized man. 

Fortune, in his work entitled " Residence among the 
Chinese," bears the following testimony : — 

" The Chinese," he says, " are, as a nation, jealous, 
selfish, and eminently conceited ; it is difficult, therefore, 
to convince such minds that nations, many thousand 
miles distant, will subscribe large sums of money merely 
for their religious benefit ; or that men are to be found 
who will leave friends and home, with no other object in 
view than to convert them to Christianity. Hence it 
would seem that the labours of the medical missionary 
prove a powerful auxiliary in aiding the spread of the 
Gospel among such a people. All nations, even the most 
cold and selfish, have some kindly feelings in their nature 
capable of being roused and acted upon ; and if anything 
will warm such feelings in the mind of the Chinese, the 
labour of the medical missionary is well calculated to do 
so. The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, and 
the wounded and diseased are cured j and thus, when 
the better feelings are expanded into something like 
gratitude, prejudices are more likely to give way, and the 


mind may become softened and more receptive of religious 

In confirmation of such independent testimony, there 
is no lack of evidence from missionaries themselves. 
" My own experience," writes the Rev. H. Corbett, "and 
so far as I know, that of all missionaries, in China, agree 
in this, that one of the greatest obstacles in preaching to 
the heathen is the prejudice and suspicion which is 
everywhere encountered, and the medical missionary has 
a power to overcome this difficulty possessed by no other 
agency. In connection with our mission in the south, in 
some cases, every attempt to get a hold in a new city 
failed, until the medical missionary first won the confi- 
dence of the people by healing, or at least relieving, cases 
beyond the skill of the native physician. The preacher, 
known to be the friend of the doctor, then met with a 
welcom^e; and flourishing churches, with native pastors, 
have since been formed in more than one city and town 
in which the work was thus begun. The same, I believe, 
is true of other parts of China. In the present stage of 
the work, I am persuaded that well qualified medical 
missionaries are indispensable to the efficiency and success 
of the work here." 

Some time ago, the Directors of the Edinburgh 
Medical Missionary Society received an urgent appeal 
for a medical missionary, signed by seven missionaries 
in connection with the American Presbyterian Mission 
in China. "Medical work in China," they say, "has 


been one of the most fruitful departments of missionary 
labour. It has diffused a knowledge of civilization, re- 
moved prejudice, and conciliated goodwill more than 
any other agency. Our missionary work has been greatly 
retarded because, hitherto, medical work has not been 
connected with it ; hence we are anxious that this impor- 
tant auxiliary should be at once supplied." 

Dr. Parker, through whose instrumentality the Edin- 
burgh Medical Missionary Society was formed, and whose 
long experience of medical missionary work in China 
gives weight to his testimony, says : "I have no hesitation 
in expressing it as my solemn conviction that, as yet, 
no medium of contact, and of bringing the people under 
the sound of the Gospel, and within the influence of 
other means of grace, can compare with the facilities 
afforded by medical missionary operations." 

A striking illustration of the value of medical missionary 
work is the providential opening for the establishment of 
a medical mission at Tientsin which occurred in 1879. 
During the visit to Tientsin of Dr. Mackenzie, a medical 
missionary of the London Missionary Society at Hankow, 
Lady Li, wife of His Excellency Li Hung-Chang, the 
Governor-General of the Province, who had been long 
an invalid, was so dangerously ill, that her native physi- 
cians had given her up. They told the Governor-General 
that they could do nothing more for her, except to begin 
and give over again all the drugs which had already been 
administered ! In this emergency, his Excellency, having 


heard of the visit of Dr. Mackenzie to the city, sum- 
moned him, along with Dr. Irwin, to attend Lady Ll 
As Chinese prejudice forbids much that is allowed to 
Occidental practice, it was found necessary to call in a 
lady physician. Miss L. H. Howard, M.D., of the 
American Methodist Mission, was providentially at no 
great distance from Tientsin, and having been sent for, 
she was soon installed in a suite of rooms in the official 
residence, adjoining her ladyship's apartments. With 
God's blessing on the treatment of these three physicians, 
added to careful nursing, Lady Li's life was saved, and 
she was soon quite restored to health. The fame of 
foreign medicine was in this way quickly spread abroad, 
and received the highest approval. The physicians had 
soon plenty of work. While they remained in the Yamen, 
or official residence, they operated successfully in many 
serious surgical cases, and as native doctors know nothing 
of surgery, the wonderful cures effected produced a great 
impression. The Governor-General fitted up a dispensary 
for Dr. Mackenzie in a temple — the largest in Tientsin, 
built as a memorial to his predecessor — furnished the 
medicines, and allowed him full Hberty to preach the 
Gospel to his patients. Accommodation was likewise pro- 
vided, in another part of the same temple, for Miss Dr. 
Howard's dispensary for women, his Excellency paying 
all expenses, and granting to her the same privilege. 
Thousands of Chinese, including all classes of society, 
came to these dispensaries for medical aid, and had 


the Gospel preached to them, humanly speaking, under 
the most favourable circumstances ; and so great was the 
encouragement in this work, that, on the invitation of 
his Excellency, Dr. Mackenzie determined to remain 
permanently at Tientsin. A difficulty, however, soon 
presented itself: the temple, which was used as a dis- 
pensary and hospital, was three miles distant from the 
foreign settlement, and Dr. Mackenzie found it quite 
impossible, at that distance, to give proper attention to his 
patients, especially in serious surgical cases. With the 
sanction of the Viceroy, who promised to contribute 
handsomely to the building fund, it was accordingly deter- 
mined to erect an in-patient hospital in a more convenient 
locality. About this time Dr. Mackenzie rendered 
valuable medical help to General Chow, who forthwith 
presented five hundred taels (;^i5o) for the benefit of 
the hospital. This timely gift suggested the idea of 
sending a subscription list to other wealthy Chinese 
officials, and liberal contributions flowed in. A substantial 
and commodious hospital was built, and at the opening 
ceremony, his Excellency the Viceroy graced the occa- 
sion by his presence, and expressed the pleasure he had 
in taking part in a work such as they were inaugurating. 
The medical mission has since then been carried on with 
uninterrupted success, and many have received through 
its instrumentality the "double cure," and in the city 
evangelistic work has been most successfully prosecuted. 
Much interest attaches to this work in Tientsin, all the 


necessary funds for its support being obtained from native 
sources. "It is a new thing," writes the Rev. Griffith 
John, ''for the Chinese to tolerate the propagation of 
Christian tenets in connection with institutions estabHshed 
and supported by themselves \ it must be that they are 
beginning to look on the Gospel in a new light, and 
that some of their old prejudices are gradually melting 

A young medical missionary, Dr. H. N. Allen, was 
during the past year sent by the American Presbyterian 
Board to Corea. He proceeded with fear and tremb- 
ling, scarcely knowing whether he would be even ad- 
mitted ; but he found himself welcomed by all classes. 
Soon after, upon the occasion of a violent political out- 
break, he was placed in charge of some scores of wounded 
men, mainly of high rank and representing the con- 
tending parties. He was the means of saving the life of 
Min Yong Ik, the nephew of the king, and the head of 
the embassy which some months ago visited America. 
Dr. Allen has been, by these remarkable providences, 
raised to a position of great influence. When all the 
foreigners, including the diplomatic representatives of 
Europe and America, were compelled to flee to the 
coast, he with his wife and child remained alone at the 
capital, where they were shielded by the influence which 
as a physician he possessed. The military forces of the 
king were placed as a guard around his house, and ac- 
companied him on his visits to his patients. As an ex- 


pression of gratitude for his services, the Government 
now propose to provide him with a hospital for his 

The prince whose Hfe he had saved said to him^ " Our 
people cannot believe that you came from America ; they 
insist that you must have dropped from heaven for this 
special crisis." When Dr. Allen was called to Min Yong 
Ik, he found thirteen native doctors trying to staunch his 
wounds by filling them with wax. Standing aside for the 
young missionary, they looked on with amazement, while 
he tied the arteries and sewed up the gaping wounds. 
Thus in a few minutes a revolution was effected in the 
medical treatment of the kingdom, at the same time 
an incalculable vantage-ground was thus gained for the 
introduction of the Gospel. 

There is perhaps no better instance of the value of 
medical missions as a pioneer agency, than the remark- 
able success of the medical mission in connection with 
the Church Missionary Society in Kashmir. Before 
medical mission work was tried in Kashmir, the Rev. 
Messrs. Clark and Smith, two of the most experienced 
of the C. M. S. missionaries, had gone with six native 
preachers to break ground there, but were soon driven 
out of the valley. Dr. Elmslie was then sent to com- 
mence a medical mission, and, with God's blessing, suc- 
ceeded in opening the door which had hitherto been 
closed, and by his medical skill he thus gained an 
entrance for himself and his brother missionaries to one 


of the greatest strongholds of heathenism in India. The 
late Lord Bishop of Calcutta (the Right Rev. Dr. Cotton) 
when in Kashmir visited the dispensary, and thus refers 
to the good work carried on there : " It is but little that 
we can at present do to make known to the Kashmiris the 
blessings of Christ's salvation; but I quite beheve that 
Dr. Elmslie is knocking at the one door which may, 
through God's help, be opened for the truth to enter in. 
The scene appeared to me most interesting and edifying, 
and could not fail to remind me of Him who ' went about 
all Galilee preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and 
heahng all manner of sickness and disease among the 
people.' " 

During the late Afghan war, the fierce Wuziri moun- 
taineers made a rush upon and sacked the town of Tank, 
on the extreme border of British territory. At this 
place the Church Missionary Society has a medical 
mission, carried on by the Rev. John Williams, a native 
doctor and clergyman, whose influence with the Afghan 
population throughout a wide district had always been 
very great. The wild, fierce-looking Wuziris had learned 
to look upon John Williams as their kind and good friend, 
and when they swept down from their mountain fastnesses 
they spared the C. M. S. Mission Hospital and premises. 

The London Missionary Society's Medical Mission in 
Travancore has been a most valuable auxiliary to evan- 
gelistic work in that Province. In the waiting-room of 
the mission dispensary may be seen, day by day, sitting 


side by side under the same roof, the Brahmin, Sudra, 
and Shanar, the Pulayar and Pariah, the devil-worshipper 
and the follower of Siva, the Mohammedan, Roman 
Catholic, and Protestant Christian — men, women, and 
children of all castes and creeds, waiting their turn to be 
examined, and listening attentively to the reading of 
God's Word and the preaching of the Gospel. There, 
year by year, thousands hear the sweet story of redeem- 
ing love, who would otherwise, in all human probability, 
live and die without having once had an opportunity of 
listening to the glad tidings. 

Shortly before the writer retired from the superintend- 
ence of the medical mission in Travancore, there lived 
together for nearly two months in the same ward of the 
hospital a young Brahmin and his mother ; a Siidra, his 
wife, and brother ; and a Shanar boy and his mother. The 
Brahmin youth had a compound fracture of the right leg, 
and a simple fracture of the left leg ; the Siidra had fracture 
of the skull, with a severe scalp wound ; and the Shanar 
boy had a compound fracture of the thigh, and simple 
fracture of both arms, the result of a fall from a palmyra 
tree. For the time being, at least, broken bones levelled 
caste distinction, and created a bond of sympathy 
between them. As a physician, in visiting the sick at 
their homes, we had peculiar facilities for reaching a class 
otherwise very inaccessible, and of commending the 
truth not only to our patients, but also to the large crowds 
of villagers which thronged around us. An entrance was 


thus gained into communities, and a welcome access ob- 
tained to the homes of caste famihes, which would pro- 
bably have remained closed to the visits of the ordinary 

By means of his medical skill exercised in the success- 
ful treatment of the Ranee — wife of the Maharajah — Dr. 
Colin Valentine gained access, both for himself and his 
brother missionaries, to Jeypore, one of the most bigoted 
and exclusive strongholds of idolatry in Northern India, 
where the United Presbyterian Church has nov/ a pros- 
perous mission. Dr. Valentine was at first stationed at 
Beawr, in the state of Mairwarra. His health, however, 
broke down, and he was ordered to go to the Himalayas 
for rest and change. On his way he had to pass through 
Jeypore, and while there he visited the Maharajah, who 
told him, in the course of conversation, that one of his 
favourite Ranees was very ill, that the native doctors could 
do nothing for her, and that he would be very glad if he 
would see her. Dr. Valentine at once consented, and, 
under very difficult circumstances, succeeded in diagnos- 
ing the nature of the Ranee's illness. By the blessing of 
God on the means used, she was restored to health. Pre- 
vious to this, no missionary had been allowed to settle in 
that native state. After the recovery of the Ranee, over- 
tures were made to Dr. Valentine to remain at J eypore as 
his Highness's physician ; he at once told the Maharajah 
that he was a missionary, and that unless he were allowed 
to carry on missionary work without let or hindrance, how 


ever high the position, he could not possibly accept it. 
The condition was accepted by his Highness, and Dr. 
Valentine remained at Jeypore for fourteen years ; and 
thus, by the Divine blessing on the medical mission 
agency, the native state and city of Jeypore were opened 
up to the Gospel of Christ. 

The Rev. Mr. ElHs, in his deeply interesting narrative of 
the triumphs of the Gospel in Madagascar, thus refers to 
the influence of the medical department there : "The dis- 
pensary, which Dr. Davidson opened as soon as practicable 
after his arrival, has been for some time in successful opera- 
tion. The assistance rendered to the sick, and the skill 
with which the doctor had treated a large proportion of the 
multitude who daily sought his help, deeply impressed 
the inhabitants of the capital and the suburbs. The 
cure in some cases, and relief in others from long stand- 
ing and, in their circumstances, hopeless suffering which 
so many experienced, was regarded with great satisfaction 
by all residing within reach of the dispensary. But the 
fame of the cures effected spread far beyond those who 
had experienced these benefits ; and of the vast number 
of strangers who throng the capital, few return to their 
homes without paying a visit to the dispensary, to witness 
the benefits conferred upon others or to seek relief for 
themselves. In addition to the usefulness of the dispen- 
sary in alleviating physical suffering, it exercises a powerful 
influence for good as an auxiliary to our mission. It is 
a standing testimony to the beneficence of our Divine 


religion, and is calculated to impress upon the people 
a more just appreciation of the value of human life 
than has hitherto, unfortunately, prevailed. It has, to 
no inconsiderable extent, disarmed the prejudices and 
conciliated the affections of the people. Its influence 
in this respect has been felt among all classes, from 
the sovereign downwards. It has done more : it has 
brought the Gospel to a large class who could not pos- 
sibly be reached by any other agency whatever. Many 
have listened to the Gospel for the first time in the 
mission dispensary, where they have resorted for the cure 
of their bodily ailments, whose enmity and indifference 
would have prevented them seeking or even submitting 
to counsel or instruction from any other source." 

Another striking illustration of the influence of the 
missionary physician is the successful work carried on 
at Urambo, Central Africa, by the late lamented Dr. 
Southon, of the London Missionary Society. Dr. 
Southon, on his way to join the missionaries at Ujiji, 
had to pass through Urambo. Mirambo, the king, 
hearing that the new missionary was a doctor, sent 
messengers with the request that he would visit him, and 
relieve him of a painful tumour on his arm. Dr, 
Southon proceeded to Urambo, saw the king, and a* 
once proposed to remove the tumour. Chloroform was 
administered, and the operation successfully performed. 
The king, very grateful for the relief afforded, earnestly 
requested Dr. Southon to remain at Urambo, and es- 


tablish a mission at the capital, promised to build him 
a house and hospital, to provide everything necessary 
for his comfort as well as for the work, and to give him 
as much land as he needed. " The country is before 
you," he said : " choose where you will, it is all yours." 
Dr. Southon selected a very luxuriant hill near by, where 
a good spring of water and plenty of trees made it a 
very desirable station, and henceforth his letters were 
dated from " Calton Hill," Urambo. He succeeded in 
estabhshing a most hopeful mission ; his relations with 
Mirambo continued friendly till the last, and he won for 
himself the confidence of the people. The seeds of 
Divine truth were sown broadcast, and when he was 
so suddenly and mysteriously cut down in the midst 
of his usefulness, there was bitter mourning among the 
Wanyamwezi, and none manifested more profound grief 
than did King Mirambo. 

The great evangelistic problem yet to be solved is, 
how aggressive missionary work can be best promoted 
among Mohammedan and Jewish communities. It has 
been well said, " The more of truth there is in any false 
or defective system of religion, the harder will be the 
task of those who seek to displace or supplant it by the 
presentation of the truth as it is in Jesus ; and as Jew 
and Mohammedan alike firmly hold the great truth of 
the unity of the Godhead, it becomes very difficult to 
persuade them that there is a Trinity in unity, and that 
God sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world. 


Hence the absolute need of the most thoroughly scrip- 
tural presentation of the Gospel to people with opinions 
firmly rooted in truth." And what more scriptural 
presentation of the Gospel could be devised than that 
enjoined by the Master, when He gave His commission 
to the seventy : " Heal the sick, and say unto them. The 
kingdom of God is come nigh unto you." 

Lieut. Van de Velde, Dutch R.N., in his "Narrative 
of a Journey through Syria and Palestine," thus speaks 
of the difficulties of missionary work in the East, and of 
the value of medical missions : " A great hindrance to 
missionary labour here, arises from the difficulty of 
finding access to the people. The bitter hatred enter- 
tained by the Rabbis toward a living Christianity, and, 
in particular, towards the missionaries, makes it almost 
impossible for the latter to speak to the Jews about the 
concerns of their souls. On this account, the London 
Society has very wisely attached to its agency at Jerusalem 
a Medical Mission, where gratuitous attendance is given to 
the sick. The haughty heart, when broken by the disease 
of the body, is willing to listen to the voice of Divine 
compassion, especially when the lips of those from whom 
that voice proceeds are in correspondence with the 
benevolent hand of human sympathy and tenderness. 
This is the way pointed out to us by the Lord Jesus 
Christ Himself — the way which, methinks, is too much 
neglected by missionaries and missionary societies." 
In the course of his journey homewards from 


Bokhara, the Rev. Dr. Wolff passed through Damascus, 
and saw Dr. Thompson, a medical missionary of the 
Syrian Medical Aid Association, at work there. In his 
account of his travels, he testifies to Dr. Thompson's 
remarkable success in winning the regard and esteem of 
the bigoted Mohammedan population around. "I am 
deeply convinced," he says, " that incalculable benefit 
has been conferred on the eastern world by the mission 
of Dr. Thompson, for I have learned, not only from 
Europeans, but also from Armenians and Turks, how 
zealously and successfully he has been engaged at 
Damascus. I am sure that medical men as missionaries 
would most powerfully subserve the promotion of Christi- 
anity in the East." 

After labouring some years in Damascus, Dr. Thomp- 
son was removed to Antioch, and shortly after settling 
there he wrote : " Immediately on my arrival here my 
services were in requisition. I was before known to the 
chief Turkish families in this place, and though Antioch 
is considered one of the great strong-holds of Moslem 
fanaticism and Jewish obstinacy, still, I am truly thankful 
to say, I never was in a place where I have met with 
more kindness, and such an apparently sincere desire on 
the part of all to give me a hearty greeting. They know 
of my services in years past in Damascus, Aleppo, 
Beyrout, &c., and therefore they are all prepared to 
avail themselves of my aid in times of need. It is not 
unusual for me to be accosted in the streets by people of 


all ranks, and requested to feel the pulse, and suggest 
something to remove some trifling ailment ; this begets a 
friendly intercourse. Mrs. Thompson is invited to the 
harems of the Turks, and she can walk unmolested 
through the bazaars, though it is quite a new thing to 
the people to see a European lady going about thus." 

The Rev. Mr. Knapp, who, with Dr. Haskell as his 
medical colleague, laboured long and successfully in 
Central Turkey, in pleading for the addition of a medical 
missionary to the staff of the mission at Biths, thus 
expresses himself : " Here, a missionary who is a phy- 
sician will have access to a far greater number than he 
could possibly reach were he not a physician, and this 
is emphatically true in opening new fields of labour. 
The greatest solicitude the missionary has, in such places, 
is to get a hearing. Men will not come to him, nor will 
they receive him if he goes to them. Now, the phy- 
sician draws the people to himself. Men naturally care 
more for their bodies than for their souls, and in this 
country they have a high, almost a superstitious, regard 
for a * Frank ' educated physician. One day a Mussul- 
man called upon us, and begged for a ' bit of bread.' On 
inquiry, we learned that he wanted it to give to his 
brother, who was lying sick of a fever, and we found he 
had the notion that a few crumbs of the ' Frank's ' bread 
would cure him ! At first we thought it a mere farce., 
and would have turned him away as imposing upon us, 
but his continued entreaties convinced us that he was in 


earnest. This was before Dr. Haskell arrived, and I 
mention this incident to show what unbounded con- 
fidence such a people would be likely to place, and in 
fact do place, in a missionary physician. He is called 
everywhere the * hakem bashe ' (the great physician), 
and he will not only have access to those in the town in 
which he resides, but many from surrounding villages 
will come to him, who would never think of visiting a 
simple missionary. So far as our observation goes, we 
can safely affirm that here the medical missionary has 
ten times more access to the people than the ordinary 

Reference has already been made to Dr. Grant's 
work. Patients thronged from all parts to get his advice ; 
many were carried by friends as many as five days' 
journey. Nestorians came from the mountains, Kurdish 
chiefs even from Amadia beyond, and some from the 
distant borders of Georgia. Among his patients were 
many of the highest rank and influence — princes of the 
royal family, governors of provinces, and many of the 
Persian nobihty, and he never failed to avail himself of 
the opportunities thus afforded of sowing broadcast the 
seeds of Divine truth. Writing to the secretary of the 
society whose honoured agent he was. Dr. Grant says : 
"As I have witnessed the relief of hitherto hopeless 
suffering, and seen their grateful attempts to kiss my 
feet, and my very shoes at the door, both of which they 
would literally bathe with tears — especially as I have seen 


the haughty Moolah stoop to kiss the border of the 
despised Christian, thanking God that I would not 
refuse medicine to a Moslem, and others saying that in 
every prayer they thanked God for my coming. I have 
felt that, even before I could teach our religion, I was 
doing something to recommend it and to break down 
prejudices, and wished that more of my professional 
brethren might share the luxury of doing such work for 

On the death of Dr. Grant, his colleague thus wrote 
concerning his work : " Dr. Grant had twenty times 
more intercourse with the Mohammedans than the mis 
sionary sent out expressly to labour amongst them. No 
European had hitherto resided in this remote Persian 
town (Urumiah), and the rude and bloody character of 
its Mussulman inhabitants was so notorious, that our 
English friends at Tabrez deemed our enterprise ex- 
tremely hazardous. Dr. Grant was the man for the place 
and the period ; his skilful practice as a physician soon 
won the respect and confidence of all classes, and con- 
tributed very materially to our security, and to the per- 
manent success of our mission — more, doubtless, than 
any other earthly means." 

The Rev. Robert Bruce, the well-known missionary of 
the Church Missionary Society in Persia, appeahng for 
a medical associate, thus wrote to us : " My object in 
writing at present is to ask your kind assistance in ob- 
taining, what is the great desideratum of our mission, a 


medical missionary for Persia. Edinburgh is, I believe, 
the best place to look for one, and I cannot but believe 
that, if the great wants of Persia, and the splendid field 
which is here open to a medical missionary, were made 
known, we should soon find one ready to volunteer for 
the work. Surely medical missionaries are more needed 
in Mohammedan lands than anywhere. A medical mis- 
sionary would have at once a noble field open for him 
both in Julfa and Ispahan, plenty, and not too much, 
work, a most intelligent and interesting people to work 
among, and a splendid climate. A medical missionary 
could reside in Ispahan, in the centre of the Mohamme- 
dan population, and, most probably, would prepare the 
way for an ordained missionary taking up his residence 
there, which is impossible at present. May God make 
use of these words, and choose a man Himself." In 
response to this appeal, Dr. Hoernle, one of the students 
of the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society, offered 
his services to the Church Missionary Society, and since 
1879 has been labouring with much success in Ispahan. 

The success of the work carried on by Dr. Vartan, in 
connection with the Edinburgh Medical Missionary So- 
ciety's hospital and dispensary at Nazareth, is a striking 
illustration of the value of this agency in a Mohammedan 
community. Out of one hundred and seventy-five in- 
door patients treated during the year, there were one 
hundred and sixteen Moslems, twenty-nine Greeks, 
twenty Roman Catholics, and one Druse. The average 


length of time each patient remained in the hospital was 
twenty-nine days, and during that time each of these 
received daily Christian instruction. During the same 
period, upwards of six thousand patients came to the 
dispensary for advice, and of these there was about the 
same proportion of Moslems, Greeks, Roman Catholics, 
and Protestants. A few incidents of the daily work car- 
ried on amongst the patients, both indoor and outdoor, 
may be alike interesting and instructive. 

One day there happened to be present in the waiting- 
room about half a dozen Bedouins, real children of the 
desert. They sat together, rather uncomfortably, in the 
middle of the room, seemingly very much encumbered 
with their swords and pistol-cases. They had come to 
get advice and medicine, but they could not understand 
why so many all round the room were sitting so quietly, 
or, if talking with their neighbours, doing so in a low 
voice. To do them credit, they tried to behave like the 
others, but they were evidently unaccustomed to restrain 
their feelings. It was still more puzzling to them to see 
the doctor coming in, opening a book, reading from it, 
and then speaking to the congregation. They looked at 
first as if they had made a mistake ; they glanced at each 
other and seemed to say, " This cannot be the place to 
which we were directed to come for medicine ; " and if 
they could, they would have risen and gone out, but 
they were surrounded by patients, and could not leave. 
By and by they settled down, listened very attentively, 


and seemed to understand something of the address. 
The doctor was speaking about the solemnity of the Day 
of Judgment, and urging the necessity for preparation for 
that great day. One, the eldest of the Bedouin group, 
turned round and said audibly to his companions, " When 
that time comes, I will ride on my swift mare, and be off 
to the desert." This remark caused the others to laugh, 
when an old sheikh from among the patients stood up 
and gravely rebuked them, reminding them at the same 
time of the seriousness of the subject. The interrup- 
tion was short, and the doctor continued his address, 
and these poor Bedouins, as well as all the others, were as- 
sured that none could escape by any efforts of their own ; 
that they need not fear the approach of that day if they 
would but " behold the Lamb of God which taketh away 
the sin of the world." 

On another occasion, just as the doctor was beginning 
the short service, there came stepping in a great Moslem 
chief, with half a dozen attendants. A little commotion 
was observed among the assembled patients and their 
friends, but it was only to clear the best part of the room 
for the distinguished visitor, who took the place so kindly 
offered to him. He was very attentive during the whole 
service, but was startled more than once when some 
point contrary to his religion was touched upon, and two 
or three times he audibly exclaimed, " There is no god 
but God " — an expression often used as a spell to pre- 
vent one from being influenced when Christ is spoken of 


as the Son of God ; but before the service was over he 
seemed quite interested, and when he came into the 
consulting- room he said to the doctor, " Surely the Bible 
from which you have been reading to us is not the Bible 
that was used in the time of Mohammed, for, if it had 
presented Christ — as you in your address said that it does 
— as the Eternal Word and the Eternal Son, co-existent 
with the Father, and not related as men are on earth, 
Mohammed would not, I think, have condemned it as 
he did." He was assured that it was the same, but that 
human tradition had corrupted Christianity, both in the 
time of Mohammed and in our own time. He asked for 
a Bible, that he might read it carefully for himself. He 
received a copy, and now diligently studies the Word of 
God. May the Divine Spirit enlighten his understand- 
ing ! 

" Some native friends advised me," writes Dr. Vartan, 
" since the spread of the news of the late disturbances, 
to suspend the religious services for a time, lest my con- 
gregation, being chiefly Mohammedans, some of them 
fanatics, should make it a pretext to excite mischief. We 
thanked them for their counsel, but resolved to make no 
change \ and not only has nothing unpleasant happened, 
but my Mohammedan audience is as quiet and respectful 
as hitherto. Indeed, in many cases, they are even more 
attentive and more reverential during the prayers than 
many so-called Christians, and, I may add, more grateful 
for services rendered to them. We find here, both among 


Mohammedans and Greeks, that the Word of God is not 
hindered by any material force, but that it is only the 
hardening of man's heart that keeps the Heavenly Guest 
waiting outside." 

In the hospital, always the most hopeful and satisfac- 
tory sphere of labour in connection with a medical 
mission, much precious seed has been sown, and not a 
little fruit has been gathered. The patients are kindly 
and lovingly dealt with, and all, while inmates of the 
hospital, receive regular Christian instruction ; indeed, it 
would be almost impossible for any one to remain in it, 
for any length of time, without obtaining some knowledge 
of the fundamental truths of the Gospel. We give here, 
by way of illustration, two or three cases recorded by 
Dr. Vartan, in letters recently received from him. 

Abdil Bazak, a Moslem from Genin, was admitted for 
cataract in both eyes. The operation was quite success- 
ful, and he left the hospital at the end of seventeen days 
with excellent sight, and in good spirits. This man for 
several years had been deprived not only of the pleasure 
of enjoying the objects around him, but likewise of the 
means of gaining a liveUhood for himself and his large 
family. He had spent much time and money in procur- 
ing many kinds of eye-salve, and in trying many other 
cures, but all to no purpose. At last, a friend recom- 
mended him to go to the medical mission at Nazareth, 
and should he get no benefit there, then to give up all 
hope of recovery. He came, and the Lord blessed the 


operation. During his stay in the hospital, he repeatedly 
heard the story of Paul's journey to Damascus, and had 
the truths of the Gospel faithfully pressed upon his atten- 
tion ; and although at first he was especially impressed 
with the blessing of restored vision, still, by the power of 
the Divine Spirit, the truth found an entrance into his 
heart, and his inner eye was opened to see his need of 
a Saviour. The last day he was in the hospital he said : 
" I did not come to Nazareth with a purpose like that of 
Paul when he went to Damascus, nor can I be the means 
of promoting, as he did, the fame of Jesus of Nazareth; 
but this I can say, I will love Him, and speak good of 
His name, all the days of my life." 

Another case is also that of a Mohammedan youth, on 
whom Dr. Vartan performed the operation of lithotomy, 
and removed a large calculus. He has also, by the 
blessing of God, made a good recovery. His sufferings 
were excruciating, but after the operation he felt as if 
he had come to a new state of life, and his gratitude 
knew no bounds. He listened with joy to the "old, old 
story," and the name of Jesus became to him sweeter 
than anything he had ever heard of before. On leaving 
he went to the doctor, and presenting him with a gold 
Napoleon, said, "This is all I possess, and it is the sum 
of many many farthings earned by very hard labour, and 
for a long time I have had it sewn into my dress to pre- 
serve it against a time of need ; it is, therefore, not only 
all the money I possess, but it is what I have long 


cherished as a valued treasure : I wish you to take it to 
help you to do the work of Jesus, the Good Physician." 
" Had I not," writes Dr. Vartan, " had great need of such 
help for the work here, and had I not thought that it 
was good to allow him to make his offering of gratitude 
of what he held dear, I would not have accepted the 
poor man's only coin ; I accepted his gift, however, in 
the hope that, with his restored health, the Lord will 
enable him to earn many more, and at the same time 
keep him from setting his affection too much on earthly 
things. He has learned about the true Friend that 
sticketh closer than a brother, and may he by grace be 
enabled to keep close to Him." 

One of the old Mohammedan chiefs hving in the 
neighbourhood, who used to sneer at the mission, and 
do his utmost among his co-religionists to excite preju- 
dice against it, at last came to acknowledge openly that 
the medical mission was *'a most blessed institution." 
The circumstance which led to his change of views was 
as follows. His wife, whom he greatly loved, fell seriously 
ill. The native doctors tried every thing they could 
think of for her relief; one remedy after another was 
tried, but the sufferings of the poor patient were only 
aggravated. His heart was touched at last, and, setting 
his prejudices aside, he went to Dr. Vartan, and im- 
plored him to visit his wife. The doctor went, and 
found the poor woman in great agony from a large 
abscess in the left renal region. He inserted a trocar 



and drew off a large quantity of pus ; the relief experi- 
enced was almost instantaneous, and a complete cure was 
soon effected. This wrought such a change, that the chief 
went to the doctor and confessed his sorrow for having 
dissuaded many sufferers from coming to the dispensary, 
that they might escape hearing what he thought was 
blasphemy ; but, he added, " henceforth I shall confide 
in, and declare the power of Him who guided you in 
the successful treatment of my wife." We trust his confi- 
dence, by Divine grace, may grow to a belief for his 
own salvation, and that of his household. 

Another interesting case was that of a Greek, from 
Kheyan, who was admitted suffering from extensive 
ulceration of the leg. He remained in hospital for a 
long time, owing to the tedious nature of the disease ; 
but his long residence proved a blessing, not only to 
him, but also to several of his fellow-sufferers. He 
learned much of the love of the Saviour of which he 
previously knew nothing ; and having tasted for himself 
that the Lord is gracious, he ceased not to tell others of 
the merciful love of his Redeemer. A spirit of inquiry 
was thus awakened among the patients, and several were 
so much distressed on account of their sins, that the 
story of the cross was eagerly listened to. During the 
hours for prayer, as well as at the times set apart for 
interrogatory teaching, each patient seemed as if he 
wished to be the foremost of all in receiving instruction. 

" At both morning and evening prayers," writes the 


doctor, " all who are able to leave their beds, sit in a circle 
round me, while a portion of Scripture is read and ex- 
plained in a way they can understand. In offering up 
prayer, Moslem and Christian kneel side by side, and 
ask from the Lord Jesus, for himself and herself, what- 
ever may be needful for soul and body. In the evening, 
worship is conducted more like a Bible class, and whilst 
the domestics are always interrogated, occasionally some 
of the patients are questioned ; and in the morning a text 
is given to be committed to memory by all before the 
time for evening prayers. They are thus occupied 
thinking and talking about the text, and at evening 
worship each patient is asked to repeat it; in this way 
it is hoped that every patient will leave the hospital with 
a good store of scriptural knowledge. The patients 
thoroughly enjoy their morning and evening gatherings. 
One evening," writes the doctor, "I asked one of the 
patients — and a more obstinate Mohammedan I had 
scarcely ever met — if he thought there was anything 
objectionable in our rehgious exercises. He said he liked 
them very much, and told me that till he came to the 
hospital he thought that he, and those only who beheved 
and acted like himself, could please God ; but now he 
had discovered that what he had formerly boasted of 
must be counted hypocrisy in God's sight. This man 
had a cancerous eye, which I extirpated successfully. 
Our morning and evening services have, I observe, a 
very beneficial effect upon all, even upon the most 


ignorant and unruly. When I make my rounds after- 
wards, I generally find the patients bright and cheerful, 
however much inclined to despondency before, and this 
of itself helps to promote recovery from illness ; but a 
far more important consideration is the fact that, through 
Divine grace, not a few of the patients are led to see 
their sinful and lost state, and to seek the Saviour." 

In visiting patients at their own homes, and in itinera- 
ting tours among the surrounding towns and villages. 
Dr. Vartan is everywhere gladly welcomed. In one of 
his rather extensive tours, he visited Sebastieh, Nablous, 
Jaffa, Ramleh, Jericho, Salt (Ramoth Gilead), Ammon, 
Jerash, and Gadara, and in each of these places the 
people soon discovered that he was a Hakim, and came 
to him in crowds, bringing to him their sick, or asking 
him to visit them at their homes. In treating their 
bodily infirmities he had most favourable opportunities 
of telling them of their souls' disease, and directing them 
to the Great Physician. The people were everywhere 
very attentive and grateful. At Salt, where the Church 
Missionary Society has a station, the people at first 
supposed that he had come with the intention of making 
a considerable stay, and rejoiced greatly, but when they 
heard that he must pass on, they were loud in their 
expressions of sorrow. They all, with one voice, begged 
him to inform his Society of their urgent need of a 
missionary physician, who might do so much good to 
the souls and bodies of the many sufferers, who die the 


double death for want of such help. While there, sick 
and suffering ones kept him busily engaged from morning 
till night. Among the stupendous ruins of Amnion, 
Jerash, and Gadara, he was welcomed by the wild Be- 
douins, who often molest and rob the ordinary traveller, 
even in spite of his large escort. The medical missionary 
is thus a participant in the joyful surprise of the seventy 
on their return to their Lord (Luke x. 17). 

The late Rev. W. Lindsay Alexander, D.D., in refer- 
ence to what he had seen of Dr. Vartan's work a few 
years ago when visiting Palestine, says: "There were 
patients in his hospital at the time of my visit, not only 
from the immediate neighbourhood, but even beyond 
the Jordan his fame as a physician had extended, and 
from thence people had brought their sick friends to be 
placed under his care. I rode out with him one morning 
when he was going on a professional tour — partly to see 
the country and the village which he was going to visit, 
Cana of Galilee, and partly to observe his manner of 
work amongst the people ; and wherever he went, I 
observed with pleasure the great esteem and respect in 
which he was held, and the perfect confidence they 
exercised in him. I was, indeed, very much impressed 
with all that I saw in favour of Dr. Vartan and the work 
in which he is engaged." 

One more testimony regarding the success of Dr. 
Vartan's professional work. It was kindly written by 
Dr. Robert Lewins, Staff Surgeon- Major, to one of the 


directors of the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society : 
" During a recent visit to Palestine," Dr. Lewins writes, 
"I had ample opportunity of witnessing the character 
of the duties performed by the medical missionary there, 
and was much impressed by their valuable nature. I 
was particularly struck with the success of Dr. Vartan in 
operative surgery — sixty cases of amputation (major) 
having been performed, witiiout a single casualty — a 
result, so far as I am aware, unprecedented elsewhere, 
and which induced me to recommend Dr. Vartan to 
pubhsh a detailed statement of his practice and experi- 
ence in Syria, as a desideratufii in the statistics of medical 

We leave these facts and testimonies, which might be 
multiplied indefinitely, to produce their own impression. 
When we remember the natural aversion of the human 
heart to the Gospel — the prejudice, ignorance, and 
superstition, and the bitter enmity to the truth which 
characterize Mohammedanism and every other false 
system; when we have such abundant evidence that, 
by the skilful practice of the healing art, deeply rooted 
prejudices are overcome, hard hearts subdued, and ready 
access gained to communities and homes where, as 
ambassadors for Christ, we desire to make known the 
Gospel message; and when, above all, we remember that 
our Divine Lord and Master Himself sanctified the 
medical missionary method by His own example and 
precept, surely no argument is needed to enforce the 


claims of medical missions ; yea, it is necessary rather to 
enforce the all-important truth, that although the medical 
mission principle bears the stamp of Divine approval, and 
commends itself to human intelligence as eminently 
adapted for the object in view, still that principle has no 
virtue in itself. In the accomphshment of His great and 
glorious purposes of mercy, God condescends to employ 
human instrumentality, but " neither is he that planteth 
anything, nor he that watereth, but God that giveth the 
increase." The agency we employ may to all human ap- 
pearance be perfect, but, without the energizing influence 
of God's Holy Spirit, it is nothing more than a splendid 
machine without the motive power. The Gospel is the 
Divinely appointed, and only means, for the world's 
regeneration ; it, and it alone, under the influence of the 
Spirit, can turn men from darkness to light, from the 
power of Satan unto God ; and in pleading for the more 
general employment of medical missions, all we here 
contend for is, that through medicine and surgery we 
gain a readier access to the homes and hearts of those 
whom we desire to reach with the Gospel message. 





















1 IPIIllrMTiirMI 


FACTS and testimonies to the value of medical 
missions, such as have been adduced, are in them- 
selves sufficient evidence that this department of service 
is no mere experiment. In many of our mission fields 
abroad, mission hospitals and dispensaries are now in 
active operation ; and where they are most numerous, as 
in China, there their value and importance as auxiliaries 
to missionary effort are most gratefully acknowledged — 
indeed, considered by many as indispensable to the suc- 
cess of the work. Our missionary societies, with certain 
exceptions, are yet slow to recognize the medical mission 
as an ordinary method of missionary work, and seem 
disposed to minimize its employment as much as possible ; 
and even when established, the support it receives from 


home is not as a rule either so hearty or so Uberal as it 
ought to be ; too often, indeed, the medical missionary 
has not only to do the work, but likewise to find the 
means for carrying it on. 

This lukewarmness, or rather want of appreciation of 
this agency, on the part of some of our missionary 
societies, arises in great measure, we believe, from the 
erroneous impression that the practical operations of a 
medical mission are not so directly evangelistic as the 
ordinary stereotyped methods. If this can be truthfully 
said of any medical mission, we feel sure that, on inquiry 
into all the circumstances, it will be found that its use- 
fulness as an evangehstic agency is crippled, simply 
because, to the bitter regret of the missionary, his pro- 
fessional duties are so overwhelming that he cannot 
possibly attempt to do more. If sufficient help were 
forthcoming to enable him to train and to employ native 
assistants — if he were relieved from the necessity of 
devoting so much of his time to the raising of means for 
the support of his mission — in short, if our missionary 
societies were to deal as generously with the medical 
mission as with the other departments of work, there 
would be less need to complain of the medical missionary 
ever allowing professional work to engross his time and 
attention at the expense of the evangelistic. The fault 
is not in the agency, nor, with very rare exceptions, in the 
agent, but in the exceedingly limited resources placed at 
his disposal to enable him to carry on his work. 


We must state, however, that in our extensive and 
intimate acquaintance with medical missions in all parts 
of the world, we are unable to point to one which is not 
a powerful influence for good, or which, viewed from an 
evangelistic point of view, is not a most successful 
auxiliary to missionary work. In the previous chapter, 
we have entered somewhat minutely into details, especially 
m the reference made to Dr. Vartan's success at Nazareth, 
and have given illustrations of the evangelistic value of a 
medical mission hospital and dispensary, as well as of the 
special facilities afforded, in visits to patients at their own 
homes, and in more or less extended medico-evangelistic 
tours. Moreover, in defining the position and status of the 
medical missionary, we have insisted upon the recognition 
of his claim as an evangelist, and that, as such, he be sent 
forth by the Church. It is to this feature of his mission 
that we now wish especially to direct attention. All that 
we have said in support of medical missions may be 
accepted as scriptural, and may receive the hearty 
sympathy and approval of the friends of missions, but still 
their claims as a direct evangelistic agency must be 
clearly shown, and convincingly apprehended, before the 
enterprise for which we plead can take its proper place 
in the eittourage of missions, or be cordially and 
generously supported. We shall therefore proceed to 
illustrate the practical operations of medical missions, as a 
direct and successful evangelistic agency in the foreign 
field ; not only, as already shown, in pioneering the way, 


in overcoming prejudice, and in gaining access for the 
Gospel messenger, but still further, that this agency is itself 
a method, signally owned and blessed, in winning souls to 
the Saviour, and in thus extending the kingdom of Christ 
in distant lands. 

As bearing on this point, we shall begin with a few 
reminiscences of our own experience in Travancore. In 
all the operations of the medical mission, as carried on 
from day to day — in the work of the hospital, the home 
station dispensary, the branch dispensaries and hos- 
pitals ; in visiting the sick, in and around Neyoor, and in 
the surrounding towns and villages ; in the training of 
native students as medical evangeHsts, and in our itine- 
rating tours — the evangelistic element had always a promi- 
nence given to it which could not fail, with the Divine 
blessing, to produce a deep impression, and which we 
thankfully acknowledge was fruitful in spiritual results. 
All the students and servants of the institutions were, as 
far as we could judge, earnest and true-hearted Christians, 
and every department of the work was conducted in a 
prayerful, hopeful spirit. From sixty to a hundred 
patients and their friends, many of them coming from a 
great distance, daily assembled in the waiting-room in the 
early morning, when the Word of God was read and 
expounded, and prayer offered ; and it was indeed a won- 
derful and interesting sight to see there, under the same 
roof, men and women of all castes and creeds, listening 
attentively to the Gospel message, and then, in outward 


form at least, humbly kneeling before the Majesty of 
heaven. After this service, while the patients were being 
examined and prescribed for, the native ordained evan- 
gelist, in connection with the medical mission, was 
occupied in the waiting-room in ministering to sin-sick 
souls, distributing tracts to all who could read, or reading 
and explaining them to such as could not, thus dealing 
personally with the ignorant and deluded worshippers of 
idols ; and, moreover, as time and opportunity permitted, 
seeking them out at their homes, he renewed his efforts 
for their spiritual good. In the hospital, the same kindly 
interest was shown, and the same influences brought to 
bear upon the patients, only in much more hopeful 
circumstances. There were many large heathen towns 
and villages in which not a single Christian could be 
found, and where the missionary's voice was seldom, if 
ever, heard ; into these we gained a welcome access, 
and while visiting the sick, enjoyed most favourable 
opportunities of preaching the Gospel, not only to our 
patients, but also to the crowds which on such occa- 
sions eagerly thronged around us. 

We can conceive of no more hopeful or inviting field 
for evangelistic effort than that of a well-equipped 
medical mission, such as the one we were privileged to 
superintend in Travancore. Details of one or two cases 
will best illustrate the nature of the work, and the success 
which attended it. A man, belonging to the carpenter 
caste, accidentally inflicted a severe wound upon his right 


foot, splitting it up fully two inches through its entire 
thickness. We were absent at the time the patient was 
brought to the hospital, but our native assistant attended 
to the case, ligatured the bleeding arteries, and stitched 
up the wound. On our return, everything seemed to be 
going on so favourably that we refrained from removing 
the bandages, and the case was given in charge to one of 
the students. The wound gradually healed, and, after 
six weeks' residence in the hospital, he was dismissed 
cured. This patient, when he was admitted, knew 
absolutely nothing of the way of salvation; — before he 
left, he had a clear, and, we had every reason to believe, 
a saving knowledge of the truth. He expressed a 
strong desire for baptism before returning to his heathen 
home, but we thought it wise to delay for a time. He 
stood firm, however, against the efforts of relatives and 
friends to induce him to retract his new-found faith, and 
three months after he left the hospital he was baptized ; 
soon after, his wife began to accompany him to religious 
service in the chapel, became interested in Divine things, 
and within a year she too was baptized. 

A woman belonging to a respectable family, living in a 
town about twelve miles from Neyoor, was brought to 
the hospital, suffering from very extensive scrofulous 
ulceration of the leg, for which there was no alternative 
but amputation. The leg was amputated at the lower 
third of the thigh, and the wound healed so rapidly and 
satisfactorily, that three weeks from the day of operation. 


she was able to be limping about in the verandah of the 
hospital, and in five weeks from the day of admission 
she was permitted to return home. Her husband and 
sister were allowed to remain with her during her resi- 
dence in the hospital. They were all bigoted Roman 
Catholics when admitted, but the instruction they re 
ceived, while inmates of the hospital, was so blessed to 
them, that before they left, they renounced the false 
system which they had embraced, and after a six months' 
probation, they were received into the fellowship of the 

Another interesting case was that of an out-door 
patient, a man of much influence, and having many, both 
old and young, in his employment. He was seized with 
a severe attack of rheumatic fever, and being too ill to be 
removed to the hospital, which was fully eight miles 
distant, we visited him at his own home, and every 
second day for some time after, and left a student to 
attend upon him. Though he was dangerously ill, and 
his case considered hopeless by his native physician and 
friends, the Lord blessed the means used for his re- 
covery, and at the same time subdued his heart, and 
induced him, his wife, and several of his friends, to lend 
a willing ear to the truths of the Gospel. He was soon 
out of danger, and, with the exception of a stiff knee- 
joint — which, however, in course of time yielded to treat- 
ment — he made a slow but good recovery, and loud were 
the expressions of gratitude bestowed upon us, both by 



the patient and his friends. More pleasing than all, 
however, was a message received from the patient, a few 
days after we had ceased attendance upon him, asking 
us, on a certain day, to come to his house along with our 
assistants, in order to receive from him his devil orna- 
ments, cloths, and clubs, and to demolish for him a 
devil-temple (which he had built on his property only a 
few months before), as he no longer had any confidence 
in his idols, and had resolved, along with his wife and 
several of his relatives, to join the Christians. We gladly 
accepted the invitation, and on the afternoon of the 
day appointed went to our patient's house, where we met 
with a most cordial reception. A goodly congregation 
having gathered within the court, we held a short service, 
and then set to work with pick-axes, hatchets, and spades, 
and for some time we all worked like navvies, till the 
devil-temple was levelled to the ground. Many poor, 
superstitious heathen stood round us, trembling with fear, 
and prophesying all kinds of evil ; the patient's wife, too, 
was very nervous, and fearful that some dreadful calamity 
would that very night befall them; but her husband was 
very bold, and, while watching our work, he denounced 
the foolishness and vanity of his previous confidences, and 
expressed, almost in the language of Joshua of old, his 
determination that henceforth, " As for me and my house, 
we will serve the Lord." Having finished our icono- 
clastic work outside, we adjourned to the house, where 
we again had a short service, and after resting for a httle, 


were regaled with a sumptuous feast of curry and rice, 
milk, plantains, sweetmeats, &c Having arranged that 
one of our dressers should remain with the family all 
night, in order to comfort and encourage them, we re- 
turned to Neyoor, carrying with us the visible signs of 
that day's victory over the devil in one of his own 
strongholds. After a few months' probation, the whole 
family were baptized, and it is gratifying to be able to 
add, that through this man's influence, and by his faith- 
ful efforts, a large number of the villagers have been led 
to forsake their heathen worship, and to attend regularly 
on the means of grace. 

We give these cases, not as special and extraordinary 
instances, but as among many, equally interesting, 
occurring within a period of two months, and as ex- 
amples of what we daily prayed for, and expected, as the 
outcome of the work. 

The experience of our late lamented successor, Dr. 
Thomson, as recorded in his letters and annual reports, 
was not less encouraging. Year by year, as the work 
extended, its influence as an aggressive missionary 
agency, became more and more evident and powerful. 
Branch dispensaries were multiplied, and each of these, 
in the locality where it was established, became a new 
centre of spiritual as well as of bodily healing. As illustra- 
tive of this, we give a brief extract or two from recent 
reports of the work of the native medical evangelists in 
charge of branch dispensaries : — 


"The labours of the medical evangelist at Santha- 
puram," writes Dr. Thomson, " have been much blessed. 
The people have great confidence in him; some have 
been known to sell their brass vessels, to enable them to 
come and stay at the little hospital under his charge. 
The number of cases treated by him during the year is 
3,609. During the same period, sixty-six of his patients 
have been led, through God's blessing upon his faithful, 
zealous efforts, to forsake idol worship, and have put 
themselves under regular Christian instruction. On the 
24th of June twenty-four of these were baptized." 

Referring to one of his cases, the dresser writes : 
" Sollamutto, a religious mendicant, came to the Santha- 
puram dispensary, some time ago, suffering from paralysis. 
During the time he was an in-patient, he heard the 
story of the cross, and became a changed man. A 
proof that he is not actuated by any sinister motive, is 
the fact that he handed over to me his uthiracham 
(necklace of beads used by religious devotees), a small 
ratan, two copper rings given to him by Muttu-Kutty, 
and a red cloth, the means by which the mendicant 
gains his livelihood. One day, being deeply convinced 
of his sinfulness and need of his Saviour, he said to me, 
* I am near the grave ; I feel my time here is very short, 
and I wish to be baptized this Sunday.' In accordance 
with his request, the pastor visited him, and finding that 
he took Jesus at His word, and simply trusted Him, he 
gladly baptized him on the 12th of October. His words 


on that occasion were very expressive, and his face, 
beaming with joy, showed that he was not exaggerating 
what he felt in his heart. He said, 'I thank God I 
came to the knowledge of Jesus Christ in the dispensary. 
My new faith gives me true happiness. Jesus has cleansed 
me, and lives now in my heart, so that, day by day, I am 
drawn nearer and nearer to Him.' He has great joy in 
attending the daily dispensary services. I have special 
cause to remember this case, as it is the first-fruit of my 
feeble effort since the lamented death of my beloved 
master, Dr. T. S. Thomson." (Dr. Thomson died on 
the 31st of July, 1884.) 

With reference to the work of another branch dispen- 
sary, Dr. Thomson writes : " No month goes past with- 
out reports of some being influenced to decide for Christ, 
or of having put themselves under Christian instruction. 
One dresser has made an analysis of such cases, in con- 
nection with his branch dispensary for the year, with the 
following results : Total number of patients who have 
embraced Christianity, eighty-one; of these seventy-five 
are regular until now in attendance at chapel, and twenty- 
seven have been examined and found suitable for bap- 
tism. Their names are all given, with the congregations 
they attend." 

"Last year," writes a dresser in charge of another 
branch dispensary, "in one village (Peruvilei) twenty 
persons were baptized under the efforts of the medical 
mission, and there are others who, though not yet bap- 


tized, are steadfast in their faith; and on the 30th of 
January, at another village in the same district, eighteen 
of my former patients were baptized by the Rev. William 
Lee. As battles won," he adds, " encourage soldiers, so 
to every one who is a soldier in the army of Jesus, 
victories such as these are a source of great encourage- 

The native medical evangelists have all been trained, 
either by the late Dr. Thomson, or by ourselves, at the 
Neyoor Mission Hospital, and, from personal observation, 
we can testify to their skill and success in the treatment 
of disease, as well as to their faithfulness and zeal as 
evangelists. The influence they have among their fellow- 
countrymen is very great, and they have access where 
the ordinary native agent dare not approach. Their 
salary is not more than fifteen rupees — equal to about 
thirty shillings — a month ; and to their credit be it known, 
that several of them have again and again refused salaries 
double or treble what they receive as agents of the 
mission, rather than relinquish direct mission work. 

From the south of India we pass to the extreme north, 
and take a glimpse of medical mission work in Kashmir. 
Here, to quote again the words of the late Lord Bishop 
of Calcutta, we find the medical missionary "knocking at 
the one door which may, through God's help, be opened 
for the truth to enter in." The Church Missionary 
Society made an effort to introduce Christianity into 
Kashmir in 1854, but the violent opposition the mis- 


sionaries then encountered obliged them at once to 
withdraw, and it was not till 1862 that the attempt was 
renewed. In the autumn of that year, two missionaries 
visited the valley, but were again obliged to retire. 
Another effort was made in the following year, but the 
time had not yet come for the establishment of a Chris- 
tian mission. In 1865, in circumstances apparently as 
Unfavourable, a medical mission for Kashmir was again 
proposed. Dr. Elmslie was sent out, and, writing from 
Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, very soon after his 
arrival, he says : " So bitter had been the opposition of 
the native authorities to the praiseworthy efforts of Messrs. 
Smith and Clark, ordained missionaries of the Church 
Missionary Society, on two previous occasions, that, on 
my arrival, I fully expected to meet with similar treat- 
ment, but I was most agreeably disappointed. With one 
exception, the people heard us gladly, and not the people 
only, but the pubhc functionaries also." Writing about 
his work the following year, Dr. Elmslie says : " The 
religious exercises of the dispensary were conducted in 
the same manner as last year. On all occasions, without a 
single exception, the behaviour of the people was quiet and 
attentive. In our addresses seldom was there any express 
reference made to the absurdities of Hinduism, or to the 
errors of the religion of the false prophet j we deem such 
references better fitted for the solitary interview than for 
the crowded assembly. We wish our hearers to know 
what Christianity is — to look at it with their mind's eye 


calmly and dispassionately ; and, if we know anything of 
the workings of the human mind, we believe that one of 
the main ways of effecting this is not unnecessarily to 
rouse the prejudices of your heathen listeners. The 
surpassing reasonableness and excellency of the Christian 
religion should be the chief theme of the preacher to a 
heathen audience, leaving them to institute a comparison 
between their own corrupt and false religion and that of 
Jesus Christ. 

"We have here a good deal fitted to discourage us, 
but the thought that during the past six months more 
than three thousand sufferers from serious maladies have 
been either wholly cured, or have had their pains alle- 
viated — the thought that the wondrous story of God's 
marvellous love to a sin-ruined world, in the stupendous 
gift of His own dear Son, has become extensively known 
among this people so prejudiced and exclusive — and the 
absolute certainty of the final triumph of the Gospel, here 
and throughout the world, should nerve and encourage 
us to advance joyfully and hopefully in our Divine 
Master's great and good work." 

Through these many years, the medical mission has 
been steadily carried on. Under Dr. Elmslie the dis- 
pensary won a reputation throughout the whole valley. 
After his death the work was carried on by different 
missionaries. Dr. Maxwell, the immediate successor of 
Dr. Elmslie, was sent out in 1874, and by his influence 
with the Maharajah a hospital was erected. Under the 


pressure of work his health broke down, and he was 
obHged to return home. During the interval previous to 
Dr. Downes' arrival, the work was carried on by the Rev. 
T. Wade and a native doctor. After six years of hard 
but successful work. Dr. Downes has also been com- 
pelled by ill-health to retire, and now Dr. Neve carries 
on the work. " The fame of the hospital," writes Dr. 
Neve, " has reached into remote valleys, crossed snowy 
passes to Ladak and Skardo, and even penetrated with 
merchant caravans into Khotan and Yarkand. As its 
fame has spread, so has its work increased. Any one 
who looked through the out-patient room on a crowded 
summer day would not quickly forget the sight of the 
hundreds of sick. Here the dark faces of the natives 
from the plains contrast with the fair Kashmiris, and 
the ruddy-complexioned Yarkundi; here are the fierce 
features of the Afghan, there the stalwart form of the 
Sikh, with many another strange nationality. Seven or 
eight different dialects or languages may be heard. Vary- 
ing yet more than race and language would be the 
diseases and appearance of the sufferers. The child 
leads in his blind father, the mother carries her lame 
daughter, friends bring, on a light bedstead, the palsied 
man. The repulsive features of the leper, the disfigured 
countenances and ulcerated limbs of many, would inspire 
with horror, their wretched garments and wasted forms 
would fill with pity, and the painfully numerous proofs 
of dirty habits and vicious tastes would excite disgust. 


*' When gathered together, a hymn is sung, and after- 
wards a short address is given. Avoiding any approach 
to controversy, they are told of the God of love, and of 
redemption : of Him who, as man, experienced the toils 
and trials of manhood, sounded the depths of poverty, 
and bore the strokes of persecution ; of Him who com- 
forted the sorrow-stricken, healed the sick, taught the 
ignorant, loved all men, died for all men, and rose again, 
the first-fruits of them that sleep, now sitting at the right 
hand of the Eternal Father, offering salvation to all who 
call upon His name. 

"To all this, whether Hindu, Buddhist, or Moham- 
medan, they listen with interest, and in the petitions of 
the closing prayer many audibly join. Now begins the 
consulting and dispensing. The doctor registers the 
name, examines the patient, and writes the prescription, 
while two compounders are at work dispensing ; one man 
shows the patients in, one by one ; two more are engaged 
dressing, while the native hospital assistant stands by 
to look after them, performing any minor operations, 
or examining more carefully any special case. So the 
patients are passed through, receiving their medicines as 
they go — the serious cases receiving an admission ticket 
into the hospital. At last, after several hours' work, and 
after a glance through the wards, the day's work is over. 
Two days a week are reserved for operations, and for a 
closer inspection of the wards." 

The extent of the work is great, and the number of 


patients very large. It reached its maximum in 1881, 
when 30,000 visits were registered. Last year 8000 new 
cases were seen, and these paid 24,000 visits. Over 
1200 operations were performed, and 1000 patients 
were received into the wards. These figures give some 
idea of the amount of work performed ; but they do not 
include all, for many hundreds were seen by Dr. Downes 
at Gulmarg, and Dr. Neve and his assistant saw hundreds 
more while itinerating in the district. During the past 
six years upwards of 130,000 visits have been received, 
and reckoning from the commencement of the work, 
twenty years ago, more than twice that number. 

Referring to the opportunities afforded by the Medical 
Mission for evangelistic work in Kashmir, the Rev. J. 
Hinton Knowles, Dr. Neve's colleague, writes : " If any- 
thing will help to bring about, under the Heavenly bless- 
ing, the fulfilment of these blessed words, ' At the name 
of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven and 
things on earth,' and 'every tongue shall confess that 
He is Christ, to the glory of God the Father,' I believe it 
is this noble, grand, Gospel Medical Mission. . . . Some 
may ask, * What are the results of this apparently great 
and holy work ? How many Christians are being 
gathered in?' Now and again, one and another have 
stepped out of the ranks of a false rehgion, and are now 
walking in the new and living way. We are striving, 
praying, and expecting that many will soon follow. There 
are several who, after the delivery of the addresses and 


the distribution of the medicines, have come to inquire 
more of 'these strange things brought to their ears.' The 
other morning five men came all at one time. Who can 
measure the blessing attending such work ! Sometimes 
there are as many as two hundred patients and others 
present. They have come from different parts — from 
over yonder snow-capped mountains, looking so near, 
and yet so far off; from yonder distant village several 
have come who have perhaps no other reason for visiting 
Srinagar than to get advice and medicine, and to them, 
and to all, the Gospel is faithfully preached. Suppose 
only fifty thus hear it every day. Then that probably 
means that the substance of the address is known before 
nightfall to about two hundred; for, in the ordinary 
routine of their life, the native has so little transpiring of 
a newsful character, that he or she will be certain to 
remember much of the Word spoken, and to tell it to 
their families and in their hujras on their return. We 
hear from time to time of the Gospel being thus carried 
to others, with saving power: Were it not for the 
Medical Mission, such splendid opportunities as we now 
enjoy for preaching in the city bazaar here is practically 

One more glimpse before we turn from Kashmir. 
" Itineration," writes Dr. Neve, " is a very interesting 
feature of our work. Throughout the past year, preach- 
ing and the healing art have, hand in hand, visited many 
of the smaller towns in the district. In the Wizier Gar- 


den at Islamabad, under the chenar groves at Pampoor, 
by the broad placid river at Sopir, in the visitors' bun- 
galow at Baramulla, the busy portal of the ' Happy 
Valley,' in the stately gardens at Vernag and Atchibal, 
by the sacred tank at Bawun, below the great mosque at 
Eishmakam, among the walnut trees and orchards of 
sequestered mountain villages, have the message of 
Divine love and the ministry of healing been brought to 
the sinful and the sick. Perhaps the most noteworthy 
of all these scenes was at Bawun — most sacred of tanks, 
most beautiful of camps — with its smooth, grassy terrace, 
watered by swift-flowing canals, and canopied by the 
massy foliage of stately plane trees. In such a gem of 
natural loveliness, disease should cease to be ; but here 
hundreds have day by day surrounded my tent. By the 
limpid flashing water of the tank, pundit and fakir, Mo- 
hammedan official and peasant, have listened to the story 
of the ' Fountain opened for sin ' — not the holy Ganges, 
nor this pure spring, but the hfe-blood of the God-man, 
Christ Jesus." 

In Rajpootana, four European medical missionaries are 
at work in connection with the United Presbyterian 
Church. Into Jeypore, the capital, the Gospel first gained 
an entrance through medical missions, and in the province, 
since then, their value, as an evangelistic method, has been 
abundantly proved, and the United Presbyterian Church 
has wisely multiplied their number. We must allow one 
of the medical missionaries in Rajpootana to speak for 


all. Dr. Somerville, of Beawr, thus writes : " To com- 
municate, with healing for the various diseases brought to 
us for treatment, a knowledge of the one true God, and 
of Jesus Christ whom He hath sent, is the method and 
aim of the work — not, as some injuriously represent, with 
the object of forcibly, or cowardly, taking advantage ot 
our patients' weakness, or incapacity for thought or intel- 
ligent decision, but to show that our religion is one of 
love and mercy, and that we desire to carry out the in- 
junction of our Master, ' to preach the kingdom of God, 
and to heal the sick.' In the mission dispensary all are 
free to come and go, and the Gospel is shown to be a 
thing, not of compulsion, but of persuasion, to the end 
that sinful men may see, and accept, a Saviour from sin 
in Jesus Christ. The Word has certainly been listened 
to with great attention, and gained an entrance into the 
understanding of many, and some have had their hearts 
touched by the story of redeeming love. If it be true of 
any department of Christian work, it is emphatically true 
of the work of the medical missionary, that much of its 
result, and even of its operation, must remain unseen and 
unnoted. Even to appreciate some of its outward 
aspects, one must accompany the missionary physician, 
morning by morning, to the dispensary — must see the 
bent and festering limbs made straight, vision restored 
to the sightless eyes, pain relieved by a stroke of the 
knife, and, withal, rebuke and exhortation administered 
to such as are suffering from former ill-doing, and the 


Word of Life read and explained to all. He must also 
accompany him — it may be after his dispensary work is 
over in the morning, it may be at any hour of the day or 
night — into the streets and lanes of the town, to the house 
of some one too ill to come to the dispensary, or to wait 
till the dispensary hour, and see relief administered to 
husband, or wife, or child, as the physician knows how ; 
and while waiting, or after what may be necessary has 
been done, to hear the message again delivered, and the 
attention of patient and bystander directed to things 
eternal. He must go with the missionary to the neigh- 
bouring or more distant village in the early morning, or 
from village to village on his longer itineracy, and see 
there the crowd collected round the village hathai^ and 
observe the remedy supplied from the medicine chest for 
bodily ailment, and note how the sinful soul is directed 
to the Heavenly Physician for spiritual healing ; — all this, 
and much more he must do, ere a just conception can 
be formed of the value of the medical missionary's work. 
In all these ways, in common with my medical mission- 
ary brethren, I have been engaged during the past year, 
as in former years, preaching the Gospel and healing the 
sick, in the dispensary, in the house, in the lane, by the 
wayside, in the village, or wherever the opportunity 
offered. We have made a large number of visits in the 
bazaar, to those who were either too weak to come to 
the hospital, or whose social customs forbid their appear- 
ing in pubhc; and it is encouraging to state that, in 


some instances, the way has thus been opened up for 
more extended usefulness." 

We wish we could take a glimpse of the other medical 
missions established by the United Presbyterian Church 
in Rajpootana ; but this is unnecessary, as the testimony 
of Dr. Husband, Dr. Shepherd, and Dr. Clark, would, 
in effect, be similar to that of Dr. Somerville. They 
each make their medical work, not the chief end, but 
a means to the higher end — namely, that of directing 
their patients, diseased by sin, to the Divine and only 
Physician of souls. With the experience of medical 
mission work which the United Presbyterian Mission 
Board has had in India, China, and elsewhere, it is 
gratifying to be able to add the following testimony from 
the late Rev. Dr. McGill, late Foreign Mission Secretary 
of that Board, to the value of this agency as a method of 
missionary work : " The experience of our Mission Board 
with reference to medical missions, which extends not 
only to Old Calabar and Rajpootana, but also to China, 
has amply verified the principles on which they have 
been founded. It is the settled conviction of those best 
acquainted with the subject, that this form of agency is 
stamped with the approbation of that Great Teacher, 
who * went about all Galilee, teaching in their syna- 
gogues, and healing all manner of sickness and all 
manner of disease among the people.' From the month 
of September, 1855, when our first medical missionary, 
Dr. Hewan, went to Calabar, until the present hour, the 


results of our medical missions have amply vindicated 
their institution." 

We might refer at length to the medical missions of 
the Church Missionary Society in the Punjab, to that of 
the Church of Scotland in Chumba, of the Irish Presby- 
terian Church in Gujerat, of the Baptist Missionary 
Society in Delhi, and of the Free Church of Scotland 
in Pachamba and Madras, as well as to that of the 
American Board, in connection with their Arcot Mission, 
but we shall content ourselves with a brief allusion to the 
latter, as illustrative of the work and evangelistic oppor- 
tunities of all. 

The hospital and dispensary in connection with the 
American Arcot Mission is located at Ranipett, with a 
branch dispensary at Wallajapett, and the work is super- 
intended by Dr. H. M. Scudder, one of a large family of 
missionaries, whose name is a household word among 
native Christians throughout a large district in South 
India. This Institution was established in 1866. At 
first, the people came cautiously and timidly, and usually 
from the lowest castes ; now, all is changed, Hindus of the 
highest castes and Mohammedans alike avail themselves 
of its benefits without the shadow of a fear, the average 
annual attendance of out-patients being upwards of 
30,000, and of in-patients about 1300. 

The Gospel is preached daily at the dispensary. As 
the patients arrive they are seated upon benches in the 
large verandah of the building, and when a goodly number 



have gathered, a portion of Scripture is read, md the truth 
made known as simply and clearly as possible. The in- 
patients, lying in their beds in the adjoining wards, are 
able to hear distinctly all that is said. The branch dis- 
pensary at Wallajapett is very much appreciated, crowds 
resorting to it day by day, and there, as at Ranipett, 
precious opportunities are enjoyed of sowing the good 
seed in a specially prepared soil. Attendance at those 
services is by no means compulsory; all are invited, 
but if unwilling to remain they are at perfect Uberty to 
retire. Very rarely, however, do any absent themselves ; 
all listen attentively, and with apparent interest. 

" It may be asked," writes Dr. Scudder, " whether this 
method of evangelization is successful. Most assuredly 
it is, though, perhaps, we may never know how much 
good is accomplished until the last great day. Many 
cases of conversion have occurred within the walls of the 
hospital, and numbers of others, who have come over to 
us, have affirmed that the preaching they heard on the 
dispensary verandah first led them to inquire after the 
truth. Do Christian friends — do even all missionaries — 
appreciate the great importance of medical missionary 
work ? We very much fear they do not. We consider 
that every mission ought to have, at least, one arm 
medical; that is, should have an efficient medical de 
partment in connection with it. Yet how many mission^ 
are still without this agency. Surely this is a poor policy, 
looking at the subject even from a worldly point of view ; 


but, when we know that the medical missionary has a 
new, extensive, easily attainable, but otherwise unap- 
proachable field — most interesting as well as hopeful — 
upon which he may enter almost immediately, and with 
scarcely an obstacle in his pathway, is it not manifest 
that this subject should have, as it certainly deserves to 
have, much more attention ? God grant that the claims 
of medical missions may more seriously enter into the 
hearts and minds of His people everywhere, and arouse 
them to extend this special field of labour and useful- 
ness ! " 

We cannot better conclude this brief reference to the 
evangelistic results of medical mission work in India 
than by the following testimony of a learned Brahmin. 
At the close of a lecture by Dr. Chamberlain, of the 
American Arcot Mission, when nearly two hundred 
Brahmins, farmers, artizans, officials, and students were 
present, the Brahmin politely asked permission to address 
the meeting, and then said : 

" I have watched the missionaries, and seen what they 
are. What have they come to this country for ? What 
tempts them to leave their parents, friends, and country, 
and come to this, to them, unhealthy clime ? Is it for 
gain or profit they come ? Some of us, country clerks 
in Government offices, receive larger salaries than they. 
Is it for an easy life ? See how they work, and then tell 
me. Look at this missionary ! He came here a few 
years ago, leaving all, and seeking only our good ! He 


was met with cold looks and suspicious glances, and was 
shunned and maligned. He sought to talk with us of 
what, he told us, was the matter of most importance in 
heaven and earth, but we would not listen. He was not 
discouraged ; he opened a dispensary, and we said, * Let 
the pariahs (lowest caste people) take his medicines, we 
won't ; ' but in the time of our sickness and distress and 
fear we were glad to go to him, and he welcomed us. 
We complained at first if he walked through our Brahmin 
streets ; but ere long, when our wives and our daughters 
were in sickness and anguish, we went and begged him 
to come, even into our inner apartments — and he came, 
and our wives and our daughters now smile upon us in 
health ! Has he made any money by it ? Even the cost 
of the medicine he has given has not been returned to 

" Now what is it that makes him do all this for us ? 
// is his Bible I I have looked into it a good deal, at 
one time or another, in the different languages I chance 
to know; it is just the same in all languages. The 
Bible ! — there is nothing to compare with it, in all our 
sacred books, for goodness, and purity, and holiness, and 
love, and for motives of action. Where did the English 
people get all their intelligence and energy, and clever- 
ness and power ? It is their Bible that gives it to them. 
And now they bring it to us and say, ' That is what raised 
us, take it and raise yourselves ! ' They do not force it 
upon us, as did the Mohammedans with their Koran \ 


but they bring it in love, and translate it into our 
languages, and lay it before us, and say, * Look at it, 
read it, examine it, and see if it is not good.' Of one 
thing I am convinced : do what we will, oppose it as we 
may, it is the Christian's Bible that will, sooner or later, 
work the regeneration of our land." 

" I could not," adds Dr. Chamberlain, " but be sur- 
prised at this testimony. Some time ago, I had attended 
in his zenana, his second wife, a beautiful girl, through a 
dangerous illness, and I knew that he was very grateful, 
but I was not prepared to hear him, before such an 
audience, give such a powerful testimony to the power 
and excellence of the Bible." 

In view of the results of medical missionary work in 
India, and with testimony to its value such as we have 
given, are we not reminded of the words of Moses in his 
song of triumph ? " Their rock is not as our rock, even 
our enemies themselves being judges " ; and were this 
agency more largely made use of in that *' land of idols," 
such testimony would doubtless be more frequently 



^\jc valn& of pi^bijcal '^i^^icfttisi a& a 

NOWHERE is the evangelistic value of medical 
missionary work better illustrated than in China. 
We shall now, therefore, take a glimpse at some of the 
mission hospitals and dispensaries in that great mission 
field. Our object, let it be borne in mind, in this, as in 
the previous chapter, is not so much to illustrate the 
influence of medical missions, in disarming prejudice and 
pioneering a way for the proclamation of the Gospel — 
this we have already done; our aim is rather to show how 
fruitful medical missions are in their direct evangelistic 
results — how manifestly God has blessed this agency in 
winning souls to the Saviour, and that from this point 
of view alone, medical missions have, therefore, a very 


strong claim upon the sympathy and support of the 
friends of missions. 

In 1834, the Rev. Peter Parker, M.D., ot the American 
Board of Missions, arrived in China; the first medical 
missionary to that great empire. His hospital in Canton 
soon became so popular, that patients of all ranks, and 
from distant parts of the country flocked to it. In 1839 
Dr. Lockhart, the agent of the London Missionary Society, 
arrived and commenced work in Macao ; towards the 
close of the same year, he was joined by Dr. Hobson. 
The operations of those pioneers of medical missionary 
work in China were, for a short time, interrupted by the 
breaking out of hostilities in 1840. When peace was 
restored. Dr. Lockhart went to Shanghai and Dr. Hobson 
to Hongkong. Excellent mission hospitals were built 
and furnished at both places, and both missionaries were 
greatly blessed in their "work of faith and labour of love." 

Dr. Lockhart, speaking of the work which he was thus 
privileged to inaugurate, says : " In 1838 I was sent 
out by the London Missionary Society as their first 
medical missionary to China. A house was taken for a 
dispensary and hospital, and the people were informed 
that they would receive gratuitous medical attendance. 
They came in great numbers, so that in the course of 
a few weeks our house was quite full, and the street was 
crowded every morning with patients flocking to us for 
aid ; and it was pleasant to see how soon, by this work 
of humanity, we could find a way to their affections and 


their hearts, and how the people who were thus relieved 
would dwell upon the words of the preacher. I believe 
the truth thus found its way to the hearts of many 
who, without the hospital, would never have known the 
glad tidings of the Gospel. Many persons came from 
the northern and western provinces to our hospital at 
Shanghai. When under treatment there, they heard the 
Gospel preached. Returning to their distant homes, 
they took with them portions of the Word of God, and 
various religious tracts ; and thus the message of salva- 
tion found its way into large districts of country which, 
without this agency, we had no means of reaching. This 
is the great object of medical missions. We strive to 
win the confidence of the people — to get them around 
us — to open their hearts by kindness to receive the 
Divine Word — and thus, sowing the seed at a favourable 
time, bring many to know Christ, whose hearts might 
otherwise be prejudiced against His truth. We re- 
peatedly heard of patients who, having been to the 
hospital, and having there heard the Gospel, carried with 
them portions of the Word of God to their native villages, 
and induced others of their friends to come down in 
order to participate in the same benefits. So the work 
went on, and I say it with confidence, that medical 
missions in China have been successful in winning an 
entrance for the Gospel to the hearts and consciences of 
the people, which no other agency could have so well 


About this time very valuable testimony, to the re- 
markable influence and success of those early medical 
missionary operations among the Chinese, was borne by 
an intelligent eye-witness, Dr. Wilson, Inspector of Naval 
Hospitals, who, in his work entitled " Medical Notes on 
China," thus refers to medical missions : "Among the 
most promising means now employed for reforming, or 
rather revolutionizing, the moral, intellectual, and social 
condition of the Chinese, we would rank the medical 
missions recently established on their shores. In their 
frequent, and, from its very nature, familiar intercourse 
with the afflicted, the medical missionaries possess ad- 
vantages, which the man who addresses himself to the 
understanding only cannot obtain. They have con- 
sequently more potent means of touching the heart, and 
turning feelings of gratitude into instruments by which 
they may act powerfully on the dark mind. Though 
they do not directly assail the strongholds of bigotry and 
conceited ignorance, they trust that, through the agency 
of accumulated good works, which can neither excite 
jealousy in rulers, nor permit continued indifference 
among the people, so to undermine these antiquated 
structures, that they may ere long annihilate them, 
rearing in their room institutions of light and liberty; 
substituting for the worship of idols, adoration of the 
true God. 

"The hospital of the medical mission at Hongkong, 
which is under the direction of Dr. Hobson, and which 


is best know to us, may be taken as a general represent- 
ative of those established at other ports. There, every- 
thing which benevolence can devise, and care and skill 
accomplish, is done for the patients ; and thence, a large 
proportion of those admitted return to their native towns 
and hamlets, to tell their neighbours what the strangers 
have done for them. They have to speak only of 
benefits received; their cherished habits were not vio- 
lently attacked ; their superstitious follies and pagan 
perversions were never made the subjects of ridicule or 
contemptuous pity, but they were led to the abandon- 
ment of these by showing them a better way, and by 
proving its vast superiority through its practical results. 
Persons who went in wasted, maimed, or blind, came out 
with renovated vigour and restored sight. Can the 
Chinese long continue to resist such teaching ? " 

Since these first mission hospitals were established in 
China, medical missions have been intimately associated 
with the progress of missionary work there. There are 
now between forty and fifty missionary physicians, Euro- 
pean and American, carrying on their Christ-like labours 
in all parts of that vast empire, and a brief reference to a 
few of the mission hospitals and dispensaries under their 
charge will serve to show how valuable they are as direct 
evangelistic agencies. 

The Rev. Griffith John, one of the most experienced 
and best known missionaries in China, writing regarding 
the London Missionary Society's Medical Mission at 


Hankow, says: "I am happy to be able to state that our 
hospital at Hankow is a thoroughly Christian institution. 
Every helper is, so far as we are able to judge, a genuine 
disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in perfect sympathy 
with the higher aim of the establishment From end to 
end, and from top to bottom, the atmosphere of the 
hospital is a purely religious one. So actively engaged 
are the assistants in making known the truth to the 
patients, that it is almost impossible for any one to spend 
three or four days within the building without obtaining 
a fair knowledge of the fundamental truths of the Gospel. 
I never enter the wards without feeling that the institu- 
tion is a great spiritual power, and that it is destined to 
accomplish a mighty work for God in the centre ot 

The Hankow Mission Hospital was built in 1874, 
largely by funds raised among the Chinese themselves. 
The land was a gift to the hospital by Dr. Reid, who 
for many years freely gave his time to the medical work 
of the mission. Accommodation is provided for about 
forty patients, and out-patients are seen five days a week. 
" Every day," writes the medical missionary, " when the 
patients are assembled in the waiting-room, the Gospel 
is proclaimed to them. That they get a clear mental 
knowledge of the truth we know, by the intelligent 
answers given to the frequent questions asked in the 
consulting-room. Those who remain as in-patients re- 
ceive daily religious instruction, and through kindness 


and attention to their bodily sufferings, we seek to lead 
them to the Great Physician, who alone can meet their 
spiritual wants." 

"Patients come from great distances for advice and 
treatment, even from the provinces of Hu-nan and Kian- 
si. From Mien-Yaang alone, though over a hundred 
miles distant, we have had twenty-three in-patients during 
the year. In this way, the Gospel reaches many who 
would never probably have come under its influence in 
any other way, for their homes have not yet been reached 
by missionary effort. Many take away with them a 
knowledge, at least, of the way of salvation, and not a 
few return to their homes humble disciples of the Lord 

Among many most interesting cases, the medical mis- 
sionary tells us of a father, a small farmer, who brought 
his two daughters, aged thirteen and sixteen, to the 
hospital, suffering from cataract of both eyes and totally 
blind. Both girls were operated upon and returned 
home with their sight restored. AVhile in the hospital 
they received daily Christian instruction, and, by and by, 
both expressed an earnest desire to confess Christ. After 
a few weeks' probation, having given satisfactory evidence 
of a real change of heart, they were baptized. Three 
months after leaving the hospital, they again appeared 
with a number of sick and maimed neighbours, their 
mother being one of the party. She had been blind 
from cataract for upwards of twenty years, and was now 


forty years old. She had not come to Hankow, she said, 
to be cured, for after so many years' blindness she could 
never expect to be able to see, but she had come to 
receive Christian instruction ; her daughters had told 
her much about the Gospel, and she was anxious now for 
further knowledge. Her case, happily, was not con- 
sidered hopeless \ both eyes were successfully operated 
upon, and her sight was restored. While in the hospital 
both she and her husband were led to know Jesus as 
their Saviour, were baptized the Sunday before they left, 
and returned to their home a Christian family. 

The largest medical mission in China is that in con- 
nection with the English Presbyterian Church at Swatow, 
which was commenced in 1863 by Dr. Gauld, in a 
Chinese house fitted up to accommodate a few in-patients. 
In 1867 a new hospital was built, with accommodation 
for from fifty to sixty patients, with a separate house in 
another part of the town used exclusively as a leper 
hospital. Since then the work has expanded with a 
steady growth, till now there is hospital accommodation 
for two hundred patients, and at times room has to be 
found for a considerably larger number. Till 1877 Dr. 
Gauld carried on the work single-handed; failure of 
health, however, obliged him to retire from the foreign 
field, about two years ago, but he is now doing good 
service as Superintendent of the Bethnal Green Medical 
Mission, in connection with the Mildmay Mission. In 
1878 Dr. Lyall, formerly resident physician at the Cow- 


gate Dispensary, was sent out to assist Dr. Gauld, and he 
has now sole charge of the Swatow Medical Mission. 

During 1883, upwards of one hundred and forty 
patients, men and women, gave in their names as candi- 
dates foi church fellowship. For such, special classes 
are held, more or less regularly during the week, and on 
Sunday afternoons they assemble for examination on the 
subjects taught. Of this large number of applicants 
only a few were baptized, previous to their leaving 
the hospital, the missionaries as a rule requiring that, 
before receiving baptism, they should go home and show 
the sincerity of their profession by conducting themselves 
as Christians among their relatives and neighbours. 
Many of those who receive a blessing themselves while 
inmates in the hospital are very zealous and successful in 
bringing in others for instruction. In a recent report, 
Dr. Lyall gives several very interesting cases of conver- 
sion, the result of such efforts. One patient, baptized in 
1 88 1, brought his mother and younger brother, a three 
days' journey to Swatow, to receive Christian instruction; 
now both are applicants for admission into the Church. 
Another, baptized on the ist of January, 1881, has in- 
fluenced a number of his friends in favour of the Gospel; 
and his brother, who came several times to Swatow to 
receive teaching, has been baptized. A man from Chiah- 
na, when under treatment towards the end of 1880, 
became very anxious about his soul's salvation, found 
peace in believing, and desired to join the Church, but 


his baptism was delayed in order that the sincerity of his 
wish might be tested. On his return to his village, his 
conduct was so changed as to make his old comrades 
and his neighbours wonder what had come over him. 
Formerly he had been addicted to gambling, swearing, 
and other evil habits, but now he was an example to all 
in his daily life and conversation. After a short proba- 
tion he was baptized, became a most intelligent, zealous, 
useful Christian, and was recently elected an office- 
bearer of the Church at Chiah-na. 

In the end of May, 1878, one of three patients bap- 
tized in the hospital was Ung-A-Che, a leper. He came 
from Na-than, a large village near the head of Chaw- 
an-basin, not long ago notorious for the piratical habits 
of the people. After a stay of several months in the 
hospital, A-Che applied for baptism, and after due ex- 
amination was received into the Church. He returned 
to his home soon after, not cured of his leprosy, but re- 
joicing in Christ as his Saviour. "We heard nothing of 
him," writes the Rev. H. L. Mackenzie of Swatow, "until 
the beginning of 1882. His village is fully two and a 
half days' journey from here, and in a region to which 
none of us had ever paid a visit. Well, to our surprise 
and delight we heard that, through A-Che's preaching of 
the Gospel to his neighbours, some twenty or thirty 
men and women, from his own and two neighbouring 
villages, had turned from the worship of idols to serve 
the living God, and were in the habit of meeting regu- 


larly to worship Him. We sent our native assistant to 
inquire into this new and interesting movement, and to 
teach and encourage those who professed to be converts. 
The report he brought back was well fitted to make us 
very hopeful as to the reality of the work, and we looked 
forward to visiting the place soon. For various reasons 
the visit did not take place till very recently, and I wish 
now to tell you what Dr. Lyall and I found at Na-than 
when we spent a few days there. Arriving early in July, 
we were warmly welcomed by several of the brethren, A- 
Che being among them. I at once recognized the poor 
fellow. He is much disfigured in face and limb by the 
sad dreadful disease, that is slowly, but surely, bringing 
him down to the grave ; but there was a peaceful, happy 
expression of face that touched me deeply, and I could 
but bless the Lord, for the grace given to our afflicted 
brother, and wonder and adore when I thought of the 
honour put upon him. He and the others conducted us 
to their meeting-place. It was an open lane, just in front 
of the house of one of the brethren, and with openings 
into it from the houses of the neighbours. They had 
been trying hard, for more than a year, to get a house or 
even a single room wherein to meet, but had failed ; and 
so Dr. Lyall and I met with them where they regularly 
assembled for worship, exposed to the heat and to the 
cold, to a blazing sun and to heavy rains. We found a 
small congregation of twenty-seven souls ; a few of the 
more prominent and decided men happened on that day 


to be from home. To shelter us from the hot sun, a few 
pine branches, and one or two pieces of what looked like 
old sail-cloth, had been spread over head. The men sat 
on small forms, the women squatted on straw mats spread 
on the ground ; for Dr. Lyall and myself a couple of 
bamboo chairs had been provided." In this strange 
place, Mr. Mackenzie and Dr. Lyall spoke to these people, 
and after careful examination of those who had applied 
for baptism, two men and three women were baptized. 
" We were glad and thankful," Mr. Mackenzie adds, " for 
what we had seen of the grace of God, and praised Him 
for so wonderfully opening the way to Na-than, and that 
our first visit there was so encouraging and happy." 

The visits of the ladies of the mission to the female 
patients in their wards have been much blessed. The 
matron of the girls' school, who was herself led to become 
a Christian while a patient in the hospital many years 
ago, and who has been very useful to many of her people 
since, often spends an hour among the women, when free 
from her school duties. As a result of these efforts, 
some very interesting conversions have taken place 
among them. 

At a meeting held lately in the medical mission house, 
Edinburgh, the Rev. Mr. Macgregor of Amoy gave a 
most interesting account of medical mission work in 
China, and among other gratifying results he told of a 
man from an unevangelized district of country who came 
nearly seventeen years ago, to the hospital at Amoy, 


where he was cured of his disease and received daily 
Christian instruction. When quite recovered, he returned 
home and told his friends and neighbours of the kind 
treatment he had received, and of the Gospel of God's 
love which he had heard. The hearts of a few were 
opened, and they beheved, the number increased, perse- 
cution arose, at one time so fierce that they had to flee 
from the village. At length they communicated with 
the missionaries and begged for a teacher ; one was sent, 
and a congregation of about a hundred was gathered. 
Many came from a considerable distance, and a new 
community had to be formed further inland ; the work 
has gone on increasing, "and to-day," said Mr. Mac- 
gregor, " there are seven congregations, each numbering 
from thirty to upwards of a hundred persons, all the 
outcome of God's blessing upon the good seed sown in 
that one patient's heart, while in the mission hospital." 

The medical mission of the Church Missionary Society 
at Hangchow has been in operation for fourteen years. 
Dr. Gait began the work there, and for nearly eight years 
carried it on with much success. In 1879 he was obhged 
to retire from the foreign field, owing to the failure of 
his wife's health. In the autumn of 1881, Dr. Main was 
sent out as Dr. Gait's successor, and has had much 
success in his work. The hospital recently erected has 
accommodation for seventy in-patients, and includes a 
commodious dispensary and waiting-room for out-patients. 
In his report for 1884, Dr. Main thus states the result of 


his experience : " Medical missions are indeed a grand 
weapon in the hand of God for removing prejudice, 
winning the affections of the people, and at the same 
time directing their minds to Christ. It is the privilege 
of the medical missionary not only to ' heal,' but also to 
* preach,' to care for the soul as well as for the body. 
To do his work thoroughly, however, he must be well 
supported. He should have plenty of well-trained assist- 
ants, to relieve him of all the heavy and drudgery work of 
the hospital and dispensary. He should not be expected 
to dress every ulcer, or attend to trifling or minor details. 
If the medical missionary has to attend to everything 
himself, he will soon find out that he must either break 
down, or allow the grand side of his work to be neglected, 
and thereby lose the joy of ' telling out among the 
heathen the story of redeeming love.' 

" With the in-patients we have a service morning and 
evening, consisting of a short Gospel address, singing 
and prayer. In our visits to the wards, we trust the 
patients all know that our chief desire and object is to 
benefit their souls as well as their bodies. Every Sunday 
afternoon we have an interesting Bible-reading and prayer 
meeting, with the assistants, pupils, servants, and Chris- 
tian patients, should there be any ; we have found this 
meeting a great help in our work. In the evening we 
have an open Gospel meeting, when those who desire to 
do so may testify to what the Lord has done for them. 
We have opened a reading-room lately, where any one 


may come in and read the Scriptures, and other books 
and tracts that lie on the tables. Every night of the week 
it is open for preaching, and quite a number come in ; 
a few have come every night for weeks, professing to be 
interested in the ' doctrine.' 

"On dispensary days, twice a week, out-patients as- 
semble in the waiting-room, where, before receiving 
advice, they are told of the Great Physician of souls, 
receive tracts, &c. Short itinerating tours into the district 
are made from time to time ; on one of these, lately, a 
Buddhist priest invited me to open my medicine chest 
in his temple, and there, surrounded with gods of wood 
and clay, I examined my patients and gave them medi- 
cines, and at the same time told them of the one living 
and true God. 

" As to results, we have every reason to thank God 
and take courage. The hand of the Lord has indeed 
been with us. The Gospel has been preached to thou- 
sands, and carried in the hand, head, or heart, to all 
parts of the country." 

Four years ago. Dr. Christie was sent out by the United 
Presbyterian Church to commence medical mission work 
in Manchuria. Hitherto he has had to devote the greater 
part of his time to the study of the language, and to 
superintending the erection of his hospital and dispensary ; 
still he has had large numbers of patients coming to him, 
and in writing of his evangelistic work, he says, that 
while he regards the alleviation of human suffering as of 


the highest importance, he feels that his first and greatest 
work is to bring the Gospel to bear on the hearts and 
consciences of the people. The patients assemble at an 
early hour, and the work of the day is begun by holding 
a service in the waiting-room. " Very pleasing it is," 
writes Dr. Christie, " to notice with what marked atten- 
tion the patients listen to the Word preached, which tells 
of the disease of sin, and of the Great Physician who is 
able and willing to remove it. During the year, five have 
been received into the Church by baptism, the first-fruits 
of these services. Of these one is a literary man, with 
a degree equivalent to our B.A., whose scholarship, 
combined with earnestness, is calculated to make him a 
great power for good among his fellow-countrymen. 
Deeply grateful as we feel for direct results, perhaps 
there is even greater cause for thankfulness, in the 
progress that has been made in the way of disarming 
prejudice, removing misapprehensions, and gaining the 
confidence of the people. The indirect influence of 
medical mission work in a land like this cannot be over- 
estimated. It shows forth in a practical form Christianity's 
highest and best principle, which is benevolence. Often 
have we heard the remark, * It must be a good doctrine 
which does so much for suffering humanity.' " 

The medical mission at Niigata, Japan, supported by 
the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society, till early in 
1885, when it was taken over by the American Board 
of Missions, has been in operation for the past ten 


years. It affords a striking illustration of the value of 
medical missions as an auxiliary to evangelistic work. 
Previous to Dr. Palm's arrival there in 1875, Niigata was 
the only treaty port in Japan where no Protestant mis- 
sionaries were at work. The success of his medical and 
surgical work soon won for him the confidence and 
gratitude of the people. He was heartily welcomed by 
the native physicians, and his instructions and assistance 
eagerly sought by them, while several, through his in- 
strumentality, embraced Christianity, and became earnest, 
devoted fellow-labourers with him in the Gospel. When 
he left Niigata two years ago, he had the joy of seeing a 
native Christian church, with upwards of seventy com- 
municants, which, under God, he had been the means 
of forming, and over which till his departure he presided; 
he had likewise estabhshed, in connection with the medical 
mission, fourteen preaching stations in the neighbouring 
towns and villages. 

A good-sized volume might be filled with the interest- 
ing records of medical missionary work, its triumphs in 
India, China, Japan, Formosa, Siam, and Burmah ; and 
not alone in these great mission fields, but also in Mada- 
gascar, Africa, Persia, Central Turkey, and Syria, in 
many parts of the continents of America and Europe, 
and in the cities throughout our own land where medical 
missions are in operation. 

With one more illustration, we must pass on to review 
other aspects of the work. What we are about to relate 


takes us back to the beginning of the modern medical 
missionary enterprise. The narrative is associated with 
one whose name is well known as one of the pioneers of 
medical missions. We refer to Dr. Robert Kalley and 
his work in Madeira, which at the time was spoken of as 
" the greatest fact in modern missions." 

Having finished his studies, Dr. Kalley settled in 
Kilmarnock, where he was arrested in the midst of 
a gay and thoughtless career through the testimony 
of a poor old Christian woman whom he was attend- 
ing, and was constrained, by the love of Christ, to 
devote his hfe to his Master's service. In 1837, he 
offered himself to the London Missionary Society, and 
was accepted with the view of being sent to China. 
Meanwhile Mrs. Kalley's health gave way, and she was 
recommended to try a residence in a milder climate. 
Being in independent circumstances, Dr. Kalley resigned 
his connection with the missionary society, and in 1838 
proceeded with Mrs. Kalley to Madeira. As soon as he 
was able to speak the Portuguese language, he opened a 
dispensary for the sick poor, and crowds came to him 
from all parts of the island for advice and medicine. To 
the assembled patients he read the Word of God, and 
preached the Gospel. Portions of the Bible in Portuguese 
were freely distributed, and many copies of the Holy 
Scriptures were readily purchased by his patients. Dr. 
Kalley invited inquirers to come to his own house for 
further instruction, and many availed themselves of the 


opportunity ; he was frequently asked to visit patients in 
the more distant towns and villages in the interior, where 
he had opportunities of proclaiming the Gospel in public 
places, and was eagerly listened to by large crowds. 
Like his Divine Master, he went about among the cities 
and villages, teaching and preaching and healing the sick, 
and like Him, he had soon to suffer for the testimony 
which he thus bore. By the blessing of God a deep 
impression was produced upon the minds of many who 
were previously bigoted Romanists, many began to ques- 
tion the infallibility of Rome, and not a few believed the 
simple truths of the Gospel, and were led to accept of 
Christ as their Saviour. This roused the indignation of 
the priesthood, who urged the public authorities to insti- 
tute proceedings against Dr. Kalley, which ended in his 
being arrested and imprisoned, on a charge of "blasphemy 
and abetting heresy and apostacy." Early in 1 844, through 
the interference of the British Government, he was set at 
liberty, and at once resumed his medical and evangelistic 
labours. He was soon made to feel, however, that a 
powerful enemy was at work against him. Several of 
his converts were seized and cast into prison, and he 
himself was again and again threatened with personal 
violence. Failing to obtain protection from the British 
authorities, he was at length obliged to escape for his 
life from the island. Notwithstanding all these untoward 
events, the good seed sown by Dr. Kalley, under the 
quickening influence of God's Holy Spirit, sprang up and 


yielded much fruit. As the result of this movement, 
upwards of eight hundred persons threw off the yoke of 
Rome, who, being denied liberty in their own country 
to worship God according to the teaching of God's Word 
and the dictates of conscience, left their home and 
kindred, and founded for themselves a new colony, first 
in Trinidad, and ultimately in the Mississippi valley. 
After leaving Madeira, Dr. Kalley went to Malta, and 
there engaged in the same good work. From thence he 
went to Syria, where his labours were much blessed, and 
after paying a visit to the Madeira refugees at Illinois, 
he settled in South America, where for many years he 
was greatly blessed in his work of healing the sick and 
preaching the Gospel. 

Dr. Kalley is now resident in Edinburgh, and is one 
of the directors of the Edinburgh Medical Missionary 
Society, and we are indebted to him for the following 
deeply interesting incident, which he related at one ot 
the meetings of the Society, and afterwards wrote 
out for us. It is a striking illustration of the value of 
medical missionary work, as well as an encouragement to 
the Christian worker who is often cast down because of 
the little apparent fruit resulting from his labours. It is 
also full of interest as a fulfilment of the Divine promise, 
" Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it 
after many days." " In the morning sow thy seed, and 
in the evening withhold not thine hand ; for thou knowest 
not whether shall prosper either this or that, or whether 
they both shall be alike good." 


"I spent 1850-52 in Syria," writes Dr. Kalley, "and 
during that time passed a summer on the Lebanon, in a 
village about 2000 feet above the sea level. While there 
I used to devote four or five hours daily to seeing the 
sick, and supplying them with medicine. Many came 
from far, and their eagerness in seeking relief helped me 
to form some idea of the crowds which gathered round 
Him who cured the leper with a touch, and raised the 
dead with a word. 

" I seldom went to the houses of my patients, as the 
long mountain rides would have been too fatiguing for 
me, besides absorbing the time which was better em- 
ployed in seeing and speaking with those who came to 
me. I, however, made an exception in the case of a 
young man employed in a silk factory belonging to a 
friend of mine. This youth's mother had ascites (dropsy), 
for which, along with other remedies, I repeatedly tapped 
her. Her son was' present on these occasions, examined 
the trocar, and saw how the operation was performed. 
Shortly afterwards I went from Lebanon to Carmel, the 
plain of Esdraelon, &c. The poor woman continued to 
suffer much from the re-accumulation of the fluid, and 
her son (with true Arab self-confidence) ventured on 
having an instrument made, as like the trocar as he 
could, with which he operated upon his mother with his 
own hand, and succeeded. 

" I left Syria soon after my return from the south, and 
did not see my patient again, neither did I hear any- 


thing further about her son, till a few weeks ago, when I 
received a letter from him, written in broken English by 
one of his children. It is dated ist December, 1883, 
more than thirty-one years after our last interview. In 
his letter he reminds me that I operated four times on 
his mother, but says nothing of his own performance. 
Then he adds, ' Your speaking to me was always from 
the Gospel,' and ' I listened to your words, not because 
I believed, but that you should attend my mother.' He 
goes on to say that in 1852 (the year I left Syria) he 
married. In 1854 he was appointed a Greek priest, and 
continued to act as such 'with pleasure for eight years.' 
During the ninth year, and till the seventeenth of his 
priesthood, he says, ' Your sermons began to grow in my 
heart.' After that his conscience obliged him to give 
up his Greek priesthood. He commenced meetings for 
Scriptural worship in his own house, and says he was 
much persecuted, but the Lord was with him. He tells 
me he has now been a Protestant teacher for ten years ; 
that for three years he has been working at Es-Salt, on 
the east of the Jordan; then three years at Nazareth, 
and in the villages around, and now resides in the village 
where his mother lived. About forty meet for worship in 
his house, and twelve are communicants. He writes, 
' Your words which you put in my heart were buried so 
many years, then they grew, and became, by God's grace, 
a large tree, which flourishes, and will continue to flourish, 
and bring forth fruit by the power of God.' He adds. 



* You must know, that when I heard you were still alive, 
my joy was as Joseph's joy when he heard that his father 
was alive ; but oh ! from where shall I bring the carriages 
to send for you ? ' " 




THE Christ-like nature of medical missionary work, 
the opportunities which it affords for the practical 
manifestation of the spirit of the Gospel — the doors, 
otherwise closed, which it opens in pioneering a way for 
the entrance of the truth — these are features of this de- 
partment of work which cannot fail, if intelligently appre- 
hended, to commend the cause to the hearty sympathy 
and support of the friends of missions. 

Besides these, however, there are many important con- 
siderations which enhance the value of medical missions, 
and strengthen our plea for their more general employ- 
ment in the foreign field. First of all, thtre is the 
lamentable ignorance existing in all heathen communities 


as to the cause, prevention, and cure of disease, which 
necessarily implies a fearful amount of preventible suffer- 
ing and mortality. This ignorance is a fruitful source of 
superstition, and, consequently, one of the most effectual 
barriers in such lands to the uprooting of idolatrous 
rites and ceremonies. 

In India, China, Africa, Madagascar, and in almost 
every heathen land, crude systems of medicine are inti- 
mately associated with the religions of the people, and 
the treatment of disease, such as it is, is monopolized 
by the priests, or by others under their control. The 
existence and prevalence of disease of every kind are 
ascribed to the agency of evil spirits, or to the anger of 
the gods ; and unless these spirits and offended deities 
are propitiated, the direst results are foretold. The 
Hindoo Shastras, for instance, teach that any person 
rejecting the services of one of the native Hakims, or 
physicians, in time of sickness will, if the disease prove 
fatal, suffer inconceivable misery in the next world; 
whereas if a Hakim be employed, and the prescribed 
rites performed, the patient will be sure to go to heaven, 
even should he not be able to see the Ganges in his 
dying moments. As the result of such ignorance and 
superstition, one of the greatest trials which the mis- 
sionary meets with in his work is the apostacy, in time 
of sickness, of not a few of his hopeful converts. Nor is 
this to be wondered at, when we remember that the only 
pretender to a knowledge of disease and its cure which 


the convert has ever known, is the unprincipled charlatan, 
the native physician, with his mantrams, charms, and pro- 
pitiatory offerings. Deluded by the artful pretensions of 
the priest-physician, or urged by the entreaties of heathen 
relatives and friends, or overcome by his former super- 
stitious fears, it too often happens, at such a time, that 
the weak professor allows heathen rites to be performed, 
and makes vows which, on recovery, he is compelled to 
perform, and thus, at the very outset, makes shipwreck 
of his faith. 

In Madagascar, even in the immediate neighbourhood 
of the capital, and where the Gospel has won such 
triumphs, the power of former superstitions is still very 
manifest, especially among the older portion of the popu- 
lation. When sickness or trouble of any kind arises in 
their famihes, we find the Malagasy converts but too 
easily seduced into their old heathen ways. One mis- 
sionary, after reporting the devastating effects of a severe 
epidemic among his people, writes: "This fearful disease 
threw back many of the natives upon their old super- 
stitious rites and customs. It was a time of severe trial, 
and much of our work could not stand this crucial test. 
The people sought after 'wizards that peep and that 
mutter,' and ceased to seek unto their God. For a 
season, there was a strong current of idolatry and witch- 
craft running throughout the district, and many went 
back from their faith. Everywhere the churches were 
emptied of worshippers, and the schools of scholars. 


while the charm-maker found his enchantments eagerly 
sought after and liberally paid for. The most absurd 
things were done to effect cures by the orders of these 
diviners, and again and again during this sad time my 
own eyes beheld things which showed unmistakably what 
a powerful reaction had set in." 

Another of the Imerina missionaries, writing on this 
subject, says : " The most serious effect of the epidemic 
was to drive multitudes of the people back to their old 
heathen practices, with the hope of charming away the 
disease. I was once led by a native pastor to the summit 
of a lofty hill, and there, amidst a grove of trees, was 
pointed out to me a rude kind of altar, where the blood 
of animals and fowls was spilt, and offerings of honey and 
bits of silver were constantly made, to assuage the angei 
of the spirits which were supposed to have brought the 
fever. I was told that it was an almost daily resort of 
the people, and that, on the Sabbath, some even of the 
Christians would gather round the table of the Lord, in 
remembrance of the blood ' shed for many for the 
remission of sins,' and on the afternoon of the same day 
would assemble in the ' sacred grove,' to present a sacri- 
fice of blood to the spirits of their deceased ancestors." 

We have referred to the sad influence of former super- 
stitions among the Malagasy converts, who have so 
recently emerged from the darkness of heathenism ; but 
we must remember that, in this respect, they are not by 
any means singular; indeed, in all our mission fields, 


wherever the great proportion of the people are still 
heathen, we may expect to find the same evil influences 
at work. We can testify from personal knowledge, that 
in Southern India this is one of the most common snares 
to the native Christian adherents, and, to some extent, 
even to the communicant, exerting a most powerful 
influence, and constantly calling for the exercise of 
church discipline; and hence, a very serious question 
arises : Are we dealing fairly with our converts from 
heathenism, when we subject them to church discipline 
for availing themselves in time of sickness of the only 
help within their reach, and on which, in their heathen 
state, they placed unbounded confidence, while we fail 
to provide them with necessary medical aid ? It is 
not their blame that heathen rites and ceremonies are 
associated with the native treatment of disease, and they 
must either submit to the superstitious ordeal, or resist 
the entreaties of relatives and friends, and so suffer cruel 
neglect, or bring upon themselves their dire maledictions. 
If we remember these circumstances — the heathen influ- 
ence all around, from the bondage of which they have so 
recently escaped, we shall, perhaps, in this matter be 
disposed to censure them with a little less severity. 

We protest, and we cannot do so too strongly, against 
a system of Government education in India which, while 
it necessarily undermines the cherished religion of our 
fellow-subjects, not only does not provide, but actually 
prohibits the teaching of a better and a purer faith. In 


our aggressive missionary work, however, are we not 
doing a like injustice to this people ? We deny to our 
converts the only help they can command, a help on 
which, from their earliest years, they have been taught 
implicidy to rely in time of affliction, and yet we provide 
no better aid for them. The importance of recognizing 
the healing art as the handmaid of religion is therefore 
very plainly indicated, in view of the claims of our native 
Christians gathered out of heathenism. What has thus 
been joined together, and forms part of almost every 
heathen system of religion, let us not put asunder ; rather, 
from the usage of heathen nations, as well as from the 
practice and precept of Christ Himself and His disciples, 
let the Christian Church learn the lesson, that sanctified 
medical skill should go hand in hand with the Gospel in 
her evangelistic work. 

In view of the plea we are urging, too much import- 
ance cannot be attached to the department of medical 
missionary work, which Dr. Valentine has done so much 
to promote in Northern India — which the late Dr. Pater- 
son and Dr. Elder, in Madras, Dr. Green in Ceylon, and 
which we ourselves, and our successor, in Travancore, 
have each successfully prosecuted — namely, the training 
of inteUigent native Christian youths to serve as medical 
evangelists to their fellow-countrymen. Just in propor- 
tion as such native medical agency is available through- 
out our mission districts, will the evil to which we have 
alluded, humanly speaking, be removed. 


It will be seen from the foregoing, that all barbarous 
and semi-civilized nations are ignorant of the fundamental 
principles of medical science. Common humanity, there- 
fore, to say nothing of Christian benevolence, should 
surely prompt to the adoption of means, whereby the 
mercenary and heartless pretensions of the priest-physi- 
cians may be exposed, the sick and suffering be cared for 
and comforted, and the cruelties inflicted upon them 

Some illustrations of the heathen principles and prac- 
tice of medicine will show the need there is for medical 
mission agency. 

The Chinese have a very extensive medical literature, 
but no works on anatomy or physiology. The kind of 
teaching imparted may be gathered from the following 
description of the pulse in its relation to disease : " There 
are three pulses in each wrist. A man's strongest pulse 
is in his left wrist, a woman's in her right. In a man, 
the pulse that lies nearest the hand is stronger than those 
that lie above ; in a woman just the opposite is true. In 
the left hand are located the pulses showing the diseases 
of the heart, the liver, and the kidneys, while the right 
hand pulses indicate the diseases of the lungs, the spleen, 
and other organs." 

In one of their books, considered a great authority on 
the nature of disease, we read that the elements which 
compose the human body are fire, earth, iron, water, 
and wood. So long as the equilibrmm of these is main- 


tained, people enjoy health, but as soon as one pre- 
dominates, sickness ensues. All disease is therefore but 
a disturbance of this equilibrium, and the art of healing 
consists in restoring the balance. 

The usual way for a Chinaman to enter the profession 
is to procure a pair of spectacles with large bone rims, 
some grasses and herbs, an assortment of spiders, and a 
few venomous snakes, which he places in bottles in his 
shop window. Here is one of his prescriptions — 

" Powdered snakes ... 

2 parts. 

Wasps and their nests 

I part. 


6 parts. 


4 M 


20 „ 

Grind thoroughly, mix with honey, and make into small 
pills. Two to be taken four times a day." In cases of 
debility, the bones of the tiger, reduced to powder and 
made into pills, are administered as a tonic. They 
reason thus : the tiger is very strong, the bone is the 
strongest part of the strong animal — therefore, a pill of 
this must be pre-eminently strengthening. 

Dr. Hobson, for many years a medical missionary in 
China, and author of several valuable works on medicine, 
thus writes : " Medical science in China is at a low ebb. 
It does not equal the state of the medical art in the time 
of Hippocrates and Celsus. The knowledge of anatomy 
and surgery in ancient Greece and Rome was much 


superior to anything now in China. At present there 
are no colleges or schools in the country, excepting the 
Imperial College at Pekin, for the use of his Majesty 
and high officers. Anatomy is totally interdicted, both 
by law and pubhc opinion. Any man, however, may 
practise medicine, and thousands do so with the slender 
knowledge which their books afford. In these books, 
which are based on principles adopted two or three 
thousand years ago, the important doctrine of the circu- 
lation of the blood is not only not understood, but pre- 
posterously confused and erroneous. Their theory of 
the pulse proves this to a demonstration. There is no 
distinction between the arteries and veins, no knowledge 
of the heart's proper function, nor of the changes which 
the blood undergoes in the lungs and capillary system. 
The Chinese know nothing of the nervous system, its 
functions and diseases. They have a pulse for every 
organ but the brain. The position, forms, and uses of 
the viscera are not understood. There is no lack of 
books and observations on the functions of the body ; 
for everything, even the most inscrutable and mysterious, 
is explained by the Yin and the Yang — the hot and the 
cold, the dry and the moist, the superior and inferior 
influences ! Almost every symptom is a disease, and 
every prescription, of which the books contain thousands, 
is for every imaginable symptom, indicating a miserabjy 
small acquaintance with the nature and causes of 


Under such circumstances of ignorance and supersti- 
tion, it is not wonderful that the mortahty of China is 
very heavy. It is said that the daily mortahty is not less 
than 33,000. When an epidemic breaks out, the people 
die by hundreds. The only remedy in times of plague 
or pestilence that they know, is to organize a series of 
Buddhistic services to expel the evil spirits supposed to 
be the cause of the calamity. We, in England, have had 
our age of superstition and ignorance, with reference to 
the causes of disease and the remedies. The light of 
Heaven has shone in on our darkness, and, under the 
influence of a free and pure Christianity, medical science 
has long been teaching us how to mitigate suffering and 
save life. The helpless condition of the Chinese in the 
face of disease or physical suffering is surely, in the light 
of the life of Jesus Christ, a call to us to give them a 
share of the blessing that God has given to us. 

Dr. Sturge, medical missionary in Siam, gives an in- 
teresting account of the Siamese theory and practice of 
medicine. All nature, according to the Siamese, is made 
up of four elements, namely, fire, earth, wind, and water. 
The human body is supposed to be composed of the 
same elements, which they divide into two classes, visible 
and invisible. To the former, belongs everything that can 
be seen, as the bones, flesh, blood, &c ; to the latter, the 
wind and the fire. The body is composed of twenty 
kinds of earth, twelve kinds of water, six kinds of wind 
and four kinds of fire. The varieties of wind are as 


follows : the first kind passes from the head to the feet, 
and the second variety from the feet to the head ; the 
third variety resides about the diaphragm, and the fourth 
circulates in the arteries forming the pulse; the fifth enters 
the lungs, and the sixth resides in the intestines. The 
four kinds of fire are, first, that which gives the body its 
natural temperature ; the second, that which causes a 
higher temperature, as after exercise or in fevers j the 
third variety causes digestion, and the fourth causes old 
age. The Siamese divide the body into thirty-two parts, 
as the skin, heart, lungs, &c. The body is subject to 
ninety-six diseases, due to the disarrangement of the 
earth, wind, fire, and water. Thus, if there is an undue 
proportion of fire, we have one of the fevers. Dropsies 
are caused by too great a proportion of water, and wind 
causes all manner of complaints. Nine out of ten of the 
natives, when asked what is the matter with them, answer 
" Wind." 

Spirits are supposed to have great power over our 
bodies, deranging the elements and producing all manner 
of diseases. The minds of the natives are thus held in 
continual bondage for fear of the spirits, for no one knows 
what great sins he may have committed in a previous state 
of existence, for which he may be called upon to sufier at 
any moment. Thus the people are constantly endeavour- 
ing to propitiate them by presents, incantations, &c. 

With regard to medicines, they believe that in the time 
of Buddha, there lived one still worshipped as the Father 


of Medicine. To him, it is said, the plants all spoke, 
telling their names and medicinal properties. These 
were written in books, and have become sacred. If they 
fail to produce the effects attributed to them, the fault is 
not theirs, but the want of success is due to the absence 
of merit in either doctor or patient. The natives use 
almost everything as medicine j the bones and skins of 
various animals occupy a large part of their pharma- 
copoeia, while the galls of snakes, tigers, lizards, &c., 
are among the most valuable of their remedies. The 
following is a most absurd recipe for the bite of a snake : 
' A portion of the jaw of a wild hog, a portion of the jaw 
of a tame hog, a portion of the jaw of a goat, a portion 
of goose bone, a portion of peacock bone, a portion of 
the tail of a fish, and a portion of the head of a venomous 
snake.' These being duly compounded, form a popular 
remedy when the venom has caused lockjaw. Many 
other remedies are equally foolish. Every native phy- 
sician has an image of the Father of Medicine in his 
house. The drugs are placed in the idol's hand, and 
receive his blessing ; afterwards they are taken to the 
patient's house and boiled in earthen pots, a wicker-work 
star being placed below and above the drugs to give the 
medicine strength. 

In India, notwithstanding the progress of Western 
science, the condition of the people, with regard to 
disease and its treatment, is barbarous beyond descrip- 


" Bound hand and foot by the fetters of superstition,'' 
writes the Rev. W. Shoolbred, " a rude stone, bedaubed 
with red paint, oil, or ghee, without even the semblance 
of anything in heaven, earth, or the waters under the 
earth, represents their deity; and the virtues supposed 
to reside in that stone are inexhaustible. Is a man sick, 
he has only to go to the nearest temple, or to the rude 
stone beneath the village tree, worship and present the 
usual offerings. Enough; let him wait and he will be 
healed. Some of the representatives of Kheturpal (one 
of the gods worshipped by the hill people in the Mair- 
wara district) are much more potent in healing diseases 
or averting evil than the others. Thus the one in a 
small temple at Shamgurh is supposed to be especially 
efficacious. I found a poor farmer, lame and crippled 
from rheumatism, lying before this temple door. He 
had been there for more than two months, waiting for a 
cure, but as yet in vain." 

" The common people in Western India," writes the 
Rev. R. A. Hume, Ahmednagar, " think that cholera is 
a punishment sent on men by an evil goddess. As they 
suppose that it would offend her to call her a bad name, 
she is called Murree Ai, that is, Cholera Mother. They 
also think that giving and taking medicine for the disease 
only excites the Mother still more, and that the only 
proper way to get rid of the pestilence is to honour the 
Mother, and so induce her to go elsewhere. In all the 
villages, there are one or two small temples dedicated to 


the Cholera Mother, in which there are a few shapeless 
stones painted red. These temples are built near the 
extreme limits of the town, so that the goddess may stay 
far from the houses of the people. At the time of an 
epidemic these are repaired. In most towns there are 
a few men and women of the lowest castes who are 
devotees of this goddess, and when cholera is prevalent 
they get much attention and much profit. Even intelli- 
gent men come and ask these ignorant devotees, * What 
is the Mother's pleasure ? How long does she intend to 
favour the town with her presence, and what can we do 
for her ? ' Then the devotee pretends to go into a kind 
of trance, and, after a shaking fit, replies that the Mother 
says that she intends to remain for so many days, and 
would like such and such attentions. These attentions 
the people gladly show." 

Among the miUions of devil-worshippers in Southern 
India, the follov/ing legendary tale accounts for the 
existence of disease, and indicates the source of de- 
liverance. On a certain day, when celestial food was 
carried to Siva by some of the inferior gods, the giant 
Taradan overpowered them, and seizing the repast, de- 
voured it. Siva became very angry at the loss of his 
meal, and determined to punish the offender. He created 
the sacred Vedas for the assistance of Pattera-Kalee and 
Veerapatteram, and delivered them into their hands along 
with a trident, Siva's emblem and instrument of de- 
struction, directing them to make war with Taradan. 


They executed their commissions so promptly and 
eifectually, that Siva's enemy was destroyed, to his 
great delight. Siva was so pleased with their success 
that he endowed them with unlimited power to inflict all 
manner of disease, and to kill all on earth who opposed 
them, or neglected to offer sacrifices at their altars. The 
consequence was, that many were killed or grievously 
afflicted with terrible diseases. This produced great con- 
sternation, and led the people to inquire of the priests as 
to the origin, and the means to be adopted for the re- 
moval of these calamities, and they informed them, that 
although Siva had given the demons the dreadful power 
which they were exercising, still they might be propitiated 
if they would offer sacrifices at their shrines ; festivals 
were accordingly established, at which bloody sacrifices 
of sheep, goats, and fowls, with plantains, flowers, and 
incense, were to be offered, and those who joined in these, 
and similar ceremonies, were promised protection or de- 
liverance if afflicted with disease. We have been present 
on several occasions, and the scenes we witnessed were 
sickening and humiliating beyond description. At the 
Mundycadu festival, thousands from all parts of Travan- 
core and Tinnevelly assembled to fulfil the vows they 
had made in time of sickness. Outside of the pagoda 
a large quantity of cocoanuts and other offerings is piled 
up ; also a heterogeneous heap of wooden hands, arms, 
legs, and feet, offered by those who have been restored 
from some injury or disease in those members ; rich con- 


t62 medical missions. 

valescents present silver models of hands and legs, or 
even golden ones on such occasions — these, however, 
are carefully put away within the temple. In one direction, 
persons may be seen rolling naked in the dust for several 
hours at a time, until, exhausted by the heat and exertion, 
they faint and are carried off, more like huge unshapely 
masses of mud than human beings ; others, have a long 
supple piece of cane inserted through folds of flesh in 
their sides, crossed over their chest, and pass along 
maddened with the pain and excitement, while one be- 
hind keeps step, jerking the cane backwards and forwards 
through the raw bleeding wounds. Parents and relations 
may be seen bringing forward scores of children of both 
sexes, lo have this cruel rite performed upon them, in 
fulfilment of vows made on their behalf while suffering 
from some sickness ; here and there others maybe seen with 
little earthenware vessels full of burning charcoal placed 
on their naked chests, and allowing it to remain there 
till the flesh on the breast is actually roasting beneath, 
hoping in this way to propitiate the anger of the evil 
spirits they so much dread, and gain immunity from the 
disease that threatens to afffict them. 

In the Antananarivo A7inuaU No. VL, an interesting 
account is given, by the Rev. A. Walen, of the super- 
stitions, religious ideas, and ceremonies of the Sakalava, 
on the west coast of Madagascar. They believe in the 
existence of a superior Being, whom they called Andrian- 
knahkry, which means the " creating and arranging 


prince," who is the object of the Sakalava's fear, but not 
of their love and desire. They believe in a duality of 
character, or the existence of good and evil, in God. 
These different qualities are not concentrated in different 
persons or beings who are in a state of opposition or 
conflict, but are blended in one individual, and their 
possessor makes use of them according to his inclination. 
" They regard God as the ruler over hfe and death ; but 
there are also other beings beside God who cause death. 
The ancestors and ampamarike (wizards) have power to 
bring about the death of any one. If, therefore, a person 
becomes ill, his relations first of all go to ask the 
ampisikily (diviners) whether the sickness will end in 
death or not. The first answer is always equivocal, for 
the Sakalava know well how to make a statement that 
may bear two meanings. Being asked for further infor- 
mation as to who causes the sickness, the diviner replies, 
perhaps it is caused by God, and that He is now about 
to cause the death of the individual in question, and so 
his relations prepare means to avert the dreadful calamity. 
They immediately send for an ox; if they have none 
themselves they are obliged to buy one, which must be 
small and in poor condition, and the cheaper the better. 
When the ox is procured, the relations and friends of the 
sick man gather together and form a circle, in the middle 
of which the victim is placed. A small altar is built 
which is called vavara; the head of the family then 
advances towards the victim, and repeats a form of prayer 


in which he, before God, complains of their present mis- 
fortune, death having approached the family. On this 
account they are in deep distress and terror, says he, and 
therefore yield the life of an ox, which they offer to Him 
as a gift instead of the human life. Thereupon the 
victim is killed; the head of the family gives the first stab, 
and the others go on sticking, spearing, cutting, and 
carving the poor animal in a dreadful manner until it is 
dead. It is then cut up without being flayed, for to skin 
a victim would be considered a cardinal sin against the 
law of the ancestors. The people now prepare their pots 
for cooking, while the sacrificer takes the suet, and puts 
it either on a kind of gridiron or on the fire, burning it 
on the vavdra (altar) in order that it shall ascend to 
Andrianknahkry as an acceptable incense. After this 
the flesh is cooked and eaten ; small pieces of the meat 
are sent as presents to those of the friends of the family 
who were not present at the sacrificial banquet, and the 
feast comes to an end. In lieu of cattle, rum may be 
used as an offering. In this case the persons divide the 
rum into two portions, one for themselves, and one for 
Andrianknahkry. Their own portion they of course 
swallow at once, that belonging to God being poured out 
on the ground." 

Mr. R. W. Felkin, F.R.S.E., RR.G.S., in "Notes on the 
Madi or Moru tribe of Central Africa," published in the 
Proceedings of the Royal Society, Edinburgh, Vol. XIL, 
1883-84, gives details regarding the social condition. 


manners, and customs of this tribe, of much value and 
interest to those engaged in the study of anthropology. 
As to the practice of medicine and surgery among the 
Madis, Mr. Felkin tells us that there are male and female 
doctors, the males confining their practice to wounds, acci- 
dents, and snake bites. The treatment of a broken arm or 
leg is noteworthy. When it is a simple fracture, the limb 
is pulled as straight as possible, and then sticks are 
placed as splints to keep it in position, and are tied with 
cords. When the bone is broken in pieces, and the limb 
swells so that they cannot properly straighten it, a number 
of small cuts are made, and cupping horns applied; 
when the swelling has been reduced, if still unable to 
straighten the limb, they cut the broken bones out, and 
fix on splints, applying a powdered root to the wound. 
Haemorrhage is stopped by actual cautery (a red-hot 
iron). This operation is rarely successful — most people 
who undergo it die in a few days. Women doctors treat 
all cases except those mentioned above. They have 
but few medicines, and seem to make frequent use of 
magic. When a woman doctor is called to visit a patient, 
she brings with her a basket containing what she calls 
her magic wand — a kind of double tube about a foot 
long, each tube being about four inches in diameter. 
The one tube is partly filled with small stones, the other 
is empty, to allow of the doctor performing her mani- 
pulations in it. This instrument is painted red, and oiled 
all over. The doctor shakes the wand, and mutters to 


herself for some little time; then feels the patient all over, 
and draws her wand over him. When pain is complained 
of in the abdomen or chest, she first rubs the part with 
oil, and then places her wand over the painful spot, 
introducing her hand into the empty tube. After work- 
ing about for some time, she at last draws out a 
substance which she calls the disease, taking care that 
the people shall not have any opportunity of seeing it 
closely. If pain is felt in the head, she cups the patient 
on the temples or nape of the neck, by making small 
cuts with a stone; an iron knife is not used. . . . There 
appears to be a belief in the existence of elves, or spirits, 
though this would seem to be an invention of the female 
doctors to gain a hold on the people. " Odi " is the 
name by which these beings are known. They are 
supposed to live underground, and their help is sought in 
cases of illness among children. If a child is ill, the lady 
doctor first examines it, and then retires to a quiet spot 
at a distance from the hut, where she erects a miniature 
hut of sticks and grass. She is followed to this place by 
the mother and one of her little boys, laden with a pot 
of food and a live fowl. She then proceeds to invoke 
the Odi to appear, but often gives out that they cannot 
come till next day, being busy. At last they make their 
appearance inside the hut, but are visible to none but the 
doctor, others only hearing them speak. Two usually 
appear, a male and a female, more than that number 
refusing to come at once. The doctor says they have 


human faces and serpents' bodies. She pretends to give 
them food to eat out of the pot, and asks their aid toward 
the sick child's recovery, shaking all the time her magic 
wand or rattle. When they have enough food they 
vanish, and the doctor falls down right over the small hut. 
She strikes the ground with her hand, and appears to 
have a fit, unconsciousness lasting a few minutes. Before 
falling, she tells the mother and boy to run home as fast 
as possible, and shut the door. A strong woman is 
always present at this incantation, who is ready to raise 
the fallen doctor, and gives her water to drink. After 
she has recovered from her real or supposed exhaustion, 
she is supported to the sick child's hut to see her patient. 
Before the door is opened a certain formula is gone 
through, after which she enters the hut, feels the child 
all over, and gives her opinion as to whether it will get 
well or not. She is then escorted home by the father, 
who takes with him her fee, in the shape of a goat, cow, 
or arrows. 

Mr. J. T. Last, of the Church Missionary Society's 
Eastern Central African Mission, relates the following 
incident, which painfully illustrates the terrible super- 
stition of the people, and the extreme cruelty into which 
their fancies lead them. "About twelve months ago, 
Msamwenda, the chief of the village of Kirabi, had a son 
born to him. Not quite a month ago, Msamwenda came 
to me with a sorrowful face, and after the usual salutations, 
I asked him what was amiss. He told me that his 


child had cut its upper teeth first, and that the people 
were demanding that it should be thrown into the forest, 
where it would be eaten by the hyenas. They make this 
demand on the ground that, if a Mgego (a child who cuts 
its upper teeth first) is allowed to live, it will cause the 
death of all the great men of the place. Msamwenda 
refused to comply with this request, until he heard what 
I had to say in the matter. He was in tears when he 
told me about his child, but when I told him we had no 
sympathy with such cruelty, and that he must not destroy 
God's gift in such a manner, he dried his tears, and said 
he would not throw away his child, even though it should 
cost him his life. After he had some more talk with the 
natives, the matter dropped. But now the death of two 
chiefs since Msamwenda came to me has raised again 
the cry against the child. A short time ago the chief of 
Bwagamoyo, Rufus by name, was killed by the Wahwmba, 
and now Malundo has been accidentally shot, and the 
superstitious natives believe that it must be through the 
influence of the Mgego. Yesterday morning Msamwenda 
came to me, and begged me to take the child to Zanzibar, 
and have it brought up as a Christian. ' The people 
here,' he said, ' were all craving for it to be killed, and 
he could not kill his own child, nor allow others to do so.' 
After considering the case, and in the hope that the 
child, being so brought up apart from all native super- 
stitions may become a good and useful man, I con- 
sented to take him to Zanzibar, and do my best for him." 


Not infrequently, the natives of the Friendly Islands, 
in order to check any spreading ulceration or disease, 
hack off the limb at a joint, working a sharp shell to and 
fro and making a horribly jagged wound. In cases of 
delirium the patient is invariably buried alive, and it is 
related how a young man, in the prime of life, was 
twice buried, and in his frenzy twice burst up the grave ; 
he was afterwards lashed to a tree and allowed to die of 

Among the natives of the South Pacific Islands, " cut- 
ting " is the universal remedy for every ailment. If pain 
in the head is felt, then an incision, or perhaps two, is 
made over the part " to let the pain out ; " if diarrhoea is 
the complaint, then cuts are made over the abdomen ; if 
rheumatism, deep incisions are made over the part 
affected ; if fever, various parts of the body are cut. 

It would be easy to multiply instances of the ignorant, 
barbarous, and superstitious notions of the people in all 
heathen lands, with respect to the nature and cause, the 
treatment and prevention, of disease, but the foregoing 
will give some conception of the need there is for the 
beneficent ministry of the missionary physician. No 
friend of humanity, and surely no friend of missions, can 
think of such heathenish rites and ceremonies performed 
over the sick and dying, of the cruel ordeals imposed 
upon them and the untold sufferings inflicted, and of the 
holocausts of victims thereby consigned to an untimely 
death, without endeavouring to stretch forth a helping 


hand to ameliorate their sad condition. What an honour 
would be conferred upon the Church were she to avail 
herself of the privilege, and be the instrument of carry- 
ing the blessings of our great modern discoveries, and the 
improvements in medical and surgical science, along with 
the Gospel, into those distant and barbarous lands, where 
humanity languishes and suffers under the agonies of un- 
mitigated disease ! 

But besides the claims of the heathen, and of those from 
amongst them who are led to embrace Christianity, and 
by so doing profess to renounce all reliance and partici- 
pation in heathen rites and ceremonies, there are the 
claims of the missionaries themselves and of their families. 
We ask how far the Directors of our missionary societies 
are justified in sending forth young missionaries, either 
single or married, to settle down in untried and often 
unhealthy regions, without providing for them competent 
medical aid ? Parents, in giving up their sons and 
their daughters to go forth in the service of the 
Church as missionaries, would not be asking more than 
they have a right to expect, were they to insist upon such 
provision being made ; nor would the missionaries them- 
selves be manifesting less faith, courage, and devotion. 
For our military expeditions, and commercial enterprises 
in foreign lands, alike from an economical point of view, 
and in justice to those engaged in them, medical aid and 
appliances are deemed indispensable, and are ungrudg- 
ingly supplied, and whv should it be otherv/ise in the 


missionary enterprise ? No doubt our missionaries are 
the very special objects of God's protection and care, as 
the records of their lives testify j but we are not there- 
fore reHeved of our responsibility, when we rest contented 
with merely commending them to the Divine protection, 
and leave them destitute of that skilled medical aid 
which, sooner or later, they will so much need. 

We admire the faith, the courage, and the devotion of 
those who, as the " Messengers of the Churches," have 
gone forth, often to unhealthy and inhospitable climes, 
renouncing the comforts and refinements of home and 
of civilized society; and, not knowing the things that shall 
befall them, have said with the Apostle, " But none of 
these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto 
myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the 
ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to 
testify of the grace of God." Let us thank God, that 
among the young men and women in our churches, there 
exists so much of this spirit of self-sacrificing devotion; 
may it increase and abound ! But the very existence of 
this noble, heroic missionary spirit, lays the Church 
under deep obligation to provide for the conservation of 
the health and the lives of her missionaries and their 
families. Among the many blessings and privileges 
which, for Christ's sake, they have surrendered, when the 
" dark and cloudy day " of afiliction comes, perhaps the 
loss most keenly felt is the want of that kind, unre- 
mitting medical skill and help which, more needed 


abroad, is there all unknown. We often read in mis- 
sionary reports of the illness and death of some devoted 
missionary, or missionary's wife or child, in the interior of 
Africa, it may be, or on the malarious plains of India or 
China, or in some of the lonely islands of the sea. 
There, in that solitary home, far, far away from kindred 
and friends, in a strange land, with no skilled hand near 
to administer relief, the life of the loved one ebbs away. 
Let us picture to ourselves, if we can, the affecting realities 
of such a scene of domestic missionary life — the feeling of 
utter helplessness and desolation, the crushed hopes, the 
blasted prospects, the breaking hearts, the heavy sorrow, 
in such an hour, of the inmates of that lonely mission 
dwelling, aggravated perhaps by the thought that, 
had the skilled hand been near, with God's blessing 
resting upon it, life and health and hope would have 
come smihng back ! Such scenes, alas ! too often re- 
corded, give painful emphasis to the appeal of a mis- 
sionary who, in losing the wife of his youth under most 
painful and trying circumstances, which, had medical aid 
been within reach (as we hold it ought to be wherever 
the Church sends her missionaries with their wives and 
families), this valuable hfe in all human probability would 
have been saved, was heard to say that he, with his 
motherless babe in his arms, " would fain stand by her 
lonely grave and lift up an earnest appeal for medical 
missionaries to co-operate with them in their labours of 
love, and to tend them and their loved ones in times of 


sickness, till it was heard all over his native land, and 
responded to by the Church of Christ." 

The idea is, we fear, too prevalent that missions to the 
heathen are altogether exempt from the conditions which 
determine the success or failure of ordinary human under- 
takings, and that in the prosecution of the missionary 
enterprise, we may therefore, to a large extent, depend 
upon a special providence to shield our missionaries, and 
dispense with much that in other circumstances would 
be deemed essential to success. Doubtless, missionary 
work is pre-eminently Divine, and its success the fruit of 
the Divine blessing ; but we have no right to presume 
that therefore, independently of all human precautions 
and the use of all available means, God will work miracles 
for the preservation of the health and lives of our brethren. 
"Have faith in God," is the Church's grand motto in 
view of her missionary obligations, but alike for personal 
salvation, and for security in the midst of danger, our faith 
must be a living principle j and if our faith prompts to 
no earnest endeavour to provide "those things which 
are needful to the body," " what doth it profit ? " 

The medical care of the missionaries and their families 
forms no small nor unimportant part of the duty of the 
missionary physician, and the advantage of having a 
medical department in connection with a localized mis- 
sion, from an economical point of view, as well as in the 
interests of the work and the comfort and the welfare of 
the missionaries, can hardly be over-estimated. We know 


of missionaries who, when reduced to extreme weakness 
by sickness, have been compelled to leave their stations, 
and take a journey of two or three hundred miles, in 
order to obtain the nearest medical aid, thereby not only 
incurring great risks, but also heavy expenses, and pro- 
bably protracted absence from their work. Missionaries, 
too, owing to the temporary failure of their own, or their 
wives' health, have relinquished foreign service, who, had 
timely medical assistance been available, would probably 
have been still actively engaged in their loved work. 

In view, then, of our obligations to the heathen and to 
those gathered out of heathenism ; for the sake of the 
missionaries themselves and their families, as well as 
from an economical point of view, we plead for the 
more general employment of this agency, and with so 
many thoroughly qualified and devoted young medical 
missionaries either offering themselves, or in course of pre- 
paration for this department of service, we hold that it is 
incumbent upon the Directors of our missionary societies 
to appoint missionary physicians wherever they plant their 
missions, and especially so in all the more isolated fields 
of labour. We believe, moreover, that the hearty sym- 
pathy of the constituents of our societies would support 
them in so doing. 






r>» "y^j^^^^^^jfliflBjK ySl ** 








H, if we could only get within these prisons of 
Zenanas ! " wrote the late Dr. Elmslie of Kash- 
mir, " if we could only emancipate their benighted 
tenants, and lead them forth into the glorious liberty of 
the Gospel ! — then might we look with confidence for the 
speedy dawning of a bright day on India's countless 
sons ; " and the Rev. Dr. Duff, in a letter we received 
from him shortly before his death, along with a copy of 
Dr. Elmshe's " Plea for Zenana Medical Missions," pleads 
most earnestly for something to be done in the direction 
indicated by Dr. Elmslie. " Every educated person," 
writes Dr. Duff, " knows the peculiar position of Hindu 
females of the upper classes, and how entirely they are 
secluded, and how, in their case, a male missionary 



might find no access to them. But if a female missionary 
knew something of medical science and practice, readily 
would she find access, and while applying her medical 
skill to the healing of the body, would have precious 
opportunities of applying the balm of spiritual healing to 
the worse diseases of the soul. Would to God we had 
such an agency ready for work ! Soon might India be 
moved in its innermost recesses ! " 

So much has been written within these last few 
years regarding the condition of woman in heathen lands, 
that it is scarcely necessary here to describe at any length 
their pitiable circumstances. It is well known that, so far 
as a knowledge of the laws of health, or of proper treat- 
ment in time of sickness is concerned, they are, as a rule, 
without either care or cure. Dr. C. R. Francis, whose 
professional experience in India extended over thirty 
years, writes : "An incredible number of, humanly 
speaking, preventible deaths occur every year among the 
many millions of Her Majesty's female subjects in this 
so-called gem of the Indian Empire. Native midwifery, 
in the ordinary meaning of the term, does not exist in 
India. Native surgery is of the most primitive kind. 
Hygiene, or preventive medicine, is utterly unknown. 
Some idea of the gross ignorance that prevails may be 
formed, when one hears that the women's apartments, in 
which many pairs of lungs are at work, represent at night a 
miniature "black-hole " of Calcutta ; that the accumulated 
house filth of every description is deposited in the imme- 


diate neighbourhood of the dwelling; and that, after 
child-birth, every breath of pure air is excluded from the 
lying-in chamber, which is kept almost hermetically sealed 
till the twenty-first day, when a religious ceremony known 
as shoostee pooja is performed." "All Hindu women," 
writes Mrs. Weitbrecht, the well-known Zenana missionary, 
" whether rich or poor, are utterly neglected in the time 
of sickness. Prejudices and customs banish medical aid 
altogether ; infectious and other diseases are left to take 
their own course. Two thousand children, not very long 
ago, were left to perish from small-pox in one city. A 
female medical mission in every populous centre is one 
of the most crying needs of India j an agency which 
would find its way into those dark, dirty, miserable 
dwellings, where fever, ophthalmia, and other ills spread 
unchecked. The death-rate among women and children 
is enormous, and constant sickness is one of the greatest 
hindrances to the Zenana missionary." 

" The real doctors of India," writes the late Dr. 
Elmslie, "are the native hakims, who abound every- 
where, and are totally ignorant of Western medicine and 
surgery. Generally, the medical lore of both Hindu and 
Mussulman hakims consists of a few useless and disgust- 
ing nostrums, which have been handed down from sire 
to son for many generations. As to the diseases peculiar 
to women and children, they simply know nothing of 
them. Besides being ignorant, they are excessively 
meddlesome, and so do incalculable mischief when they 


are called in. How much England owes to her Simp- 
sons, Priestleys, Farres, and Wests ! India is now without 
such men, and, in her present state, could not and would 
not avail herself of them ; but she is ready, from the 
Himalayas to Cape Comorin, to receive with open arms 
any daughter of the West, who comes to assuage her 
pains and to bind up her wounds. Moreover, the native 
doctors are not generally called upon to treat the women 
of the Zenanas ; when they are called in, it is only to see 
the patient die, the time for doing anything hopefully 
efficacious having passed. Besides the native doctors or 
hakims, there is a numerous class of native nurses, who 
are, virtually, all the sick women of India have for doctors 
in their own homes. The native female nurses are 
generally very ignorant, meddlesome, and immoral. 
Very sad effects spring often from their gross ignorance 
and unlimited interference ; countless mothers and 
children fall victims. The death-rate amongst Indian 
women and children is enormous, and quite out of due 
proportion. Surely if these things are so, it is the duty 
of Christians in England, and especially of Christian 
women, to hold out a helping and sympathizing hand 
to their suffering Indian sisters." 

While a medical missionary in India, we witnessed 
among the women, cases of heart-rending cruelty and 
neglect which we dare not describe ; cases in which, had 
medical aid been within reach at the proper time, 
humanly speaking, all would have gone well. Husbands 


have come to us imploring medicine for their wives who 
were dying of dysentery or fever — suffering untold agonies, 
the result, it might be, of some accident, or of the bar- 
barous treatment of a native nurse ; a not uncommon 
request was for some medicine to kill maggots in an open 
sore, and more than once we have been asked for oint- 
ment to heal the broken hmb of some inmate of the 
Zenana ; and when we told them in such cases that we 
must see the patient, and that perhaps some operation 
might be required, or that the broken bones must be set 
and the limb put in sphnts, "That cannot be, it is not 
our custom," has been the reply ; and the poor woman 
has been left to hnger on in suffering and misery, or die 
in her agony, simply for want of that help which the 
lady physician, or in many cases even the trained nurse, 
could have given. 

What has been said of India is true of almost every 
Oriental country, and indeed of all lands on which the 
Gospel has not shed its Christianizing and humanizing 
influence. In these " dark places of the earth " woman 
is debased and neglected, and in the hour of her suffer- 
ing and weakness, no skilled loving hand is stretched 
forth to administer the needed rehef ; and, as a rule, she 
will receive no help but from those of her own sex. 

Much interest has recently been awakened on behalf 
of the women and children in our mission fields, especi- 
ally those of India and China, and societies have been 
formed, in connection with almost every denomination, 


to promote this special department of service; and 
though the work of foreign female evangelization is as 
yet only in its infancy, still, by the blessing of God upon 
the efforts of the agents of these societies, wide and 
effectual doors have been opened, and an entrance 
gained into the secluded homes of the East. A most 
hopeful work has been inaugurated — a work which, ere 
long, will develop into much larger proportions, and 
occupy a much more prominent place amongst our 
mission agencies than it has yet done. As one branch 
of this work. Female Medical Missions cannot fail to 
secure the sympathy and support of all who have at heart 
the promotion of Zenana missions; indeed, so many 
requests are coming in — and from so many fields — foi' 
lady medical missionaries, and so many young ladies are 
now making inquiry as to the course of study, and the 
qualifications necessary for such service, that there is an 
evident interest awakened in this important subject. 

A few words regarding the nature of female medical 
missionary work, the preliminary qualifications, as well 
as the subsequent training necessary for it, may therefore 
be helpful to those desiring to consecrate their lives to 
this Christ-like service. 

We have, in a previous chapter, defined the sphere 
and function of the medical missionary, and that defini- 
tion is equally applicable, whether the work is to be 
carried on by a lady physician, or by a medical man. 
Medical missions are established with the object not only 


of curing, but of Christianizing. The work of the female 
medical missionary is to heal the wounded and diseased 
body, that so, by her disinterested and benevolent ser- 
vices, she may overcome prejudice, soften bigotry, and 
dispel gloom ; and while ministering rehef to the suffering 
body, may thereby gain an entrance for the Gospel into 
the hearts and homes of her patients. 

The first and most indispensable qualification in the 
candidate for this work is personal piety, and a hearty 
devotion and unreserved consecration to the service of 
her Lord and Master. There must be, as the constrain- 
ing influence, a higher motive than the mere desire to 
engage in some useful service ; the impelling motive 
must be " the love of Christ j " her heart must beat in 
true and ardent sympathy with Christ in His yearning 
solicitude for the salvation of the lost. In view of the 
trials, self-sacrifice, difiiculties, and responsibilities of the 
work, she must feel as did the prophet when he said : 
" His word is in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in 
my bones, and I am weary with forbearing, and I cannot 
stay ! " Unless her heart is fired with a genuine, steady, 
glowing love to her Saviour, with an earnest, enthusiastic 
desire for His glory, and an ardent longing for the salva- 
tion of souls, and, moreover, a proved capacity to influence 
and to convey truth to the minds of others, she had 
better not think of medical missionary service, nor, 
indeed, of any department of Christian work in the 
foreign field. Along with this indispensable qualification, 


there must be good mental abilities ; a tender yet firm 
hand, and a kind, loving, sympathizing heart ; common 
sense, or as the late Professor Miller expresses it, " gump- 
tion; " a bright, cheerful disposition ; abihty and readi- 
ness to adapt herself to circumstances; great perseverance; 
a good, sound constitution; strength of body and of 
mind to bear up under fatigue and anxiety, and, in some 
degree, a natural aptitude in acquiring a foreign language. 
It is difficult to fix the age at which preparation for 
Zenana medical missionary work should begin. It is 
probable that, before commencing her purely medical 
studies, the candidate will require to devote a year or 
more to preparation for the preliminary examination in 
general education, which must be passed prior to registra- 
tion as a medical student : but a lady, with foreign medical 
missionary work in view, should not, we think, begin her 
medical curriculum earlier than her twenty-first year, nor 
later than her twenty-fifth or twenty-sixth. 

In the case of those whose circumstances prevent their 
taking a full course of medical study, and obtaining a 
license quahfying to practise — those, we mean, who must 
be content to serve as missionary nurses — while the 
same general qualifications are essential to success, the 
same high standard of education and of mental ability 
is not so necessary ; nor will it be any drawback, if the 
age of such a candidate should be a little more ad- 

Amongst the friends of female medical mission work, 


there is, we know, a difference of opinion as to the 
extent of professional study, and the kind of medical 
qualification necessary for this service; some beheve 
that a course of eighteen months' or two years' instruc- 
tion and practical experience is quite sufficient, while 
others hold that no one should undertake such a re- 
sponsible position, unless she has pursued a regular 
course of medical study, and proved her efficiency by 
obtaining a diploma or license to practise. In a certain 
sense, both are right ; in the great mission field, there is 
room for the skilled Christian nurse, and a loud call for 
her services, but there is as loud a call, and a still more 
inviting and influential sphere of usefulness, for the 
accomplished lady physician, and the one should be 
as the complement of the other — indeed they ought to 
work hand in hand. We have no hesitation in express- 
ing most emphatically our conviction, that it is most 
unadvisable to send out partially trained ladies to 
undertake medical mission work on their own respon- 
sibility, and we believe that sooner or later the friends 
of the cause will acknowledge this. 

If a partially trained lady is sent out to practise 
medicine among the women and children in the mission 
field, if she calls herself a medical missionary, opens a 
dispensary, and invites patients to come to her for heal- 
ing, or offers to attend them at their own homes, of this 
we are certain, she will not be long at work before she 
will be called upon to treat cases, which will place hei 


in most painful and trying circumstances ; and if, in 
emergencies and cases of difficulty, she is unable to 
render proper aid, her presence there will do the mission 
cause more harm than good, and very likely her own 
health will speedily break down under the terrible strain 
of anxiety which, under such trying circumstances, she 
must undergo. The partially trained agent, caUing 
herself a medical missionary, may depend upon it, that 
the more successful she is in the treatment of ordinary 
complaints, the more frequently she will be implored to 
attend cases in presence of which she will stand power- 
less ; and, unnerved by sufferings which she cannot 
alleviate, and agitated by the sneers and, it may be, the 
threats of ignorant by-standers, she will have good cause 
to regret, that she ventured to accept a position for 
which her training and qualifications never fitted her. 

It is quite true that the aid such an one can give is 
better than none, but that is not to the point ; our con- 
tention is, that it is wrong to send forth as medical 
missionaries such agents to the mission field, and thereby 
lead the natives to expect from them a greater, and more 
skilled service, than they are able to render. From 
medical missionaries, the heathen to whom they are sent 
have a right to expect skilful aid, and especially will 
they look for this in times of emergency, and when, 
perhaps, all other help has failed. As a rule, the 
accomplished lady physician will be able to render 
the needed aid, and thereby, with God's blessing, gain 


the confidence of the people, and open an avenue to the 
heart for the Gospel message ; but these are the very 
cases which the partially trained lady cannot treat, and 
hence, instead of winning the gratitude of the people, her 
inability to render help when most needed, may cause 
her good to be evil spoken of, and thus, her presence in 
the mission field, may really be more of a hindrance than 
a help. 

We could adduce several instances confirmatory of 
what we have said ; one must sufhce. A lady whom we 
knew well, the wife of a missionary in India, had, during 
her two years' furlough at home, availed herself of every 
opportunity to acquire a knowledge of medicine, and 
had enjoyed the personal friendship, and for six months 
the tuition, of the late Sir James Simpson. On returning 
to India, she made known throughout the district, that 
she was prepared to see patients at her own bungalow, 
and to visit women at their own homes, when they needed 
help. Not many days passed, till she was called to at- 
tend an expectant mother. The case was a very serious 
one, but just such a case as, over and over again, she 
had seen brought to a favourable termination, under 
skilful interference in the Maternity Hospital. Though 
quite competent to manage all ordinary cases, and even 
common emergencies, in presence of the complication 
she had now to deal with, she felt herself powerless. 
Unnerved by witnessing the suffering of the poor woman, 
without being able to render her any assistance, she left 


the house, but not before the dhais (heathen nurse) had 
prompted the priest to make it known to all, that the 
mission doctor a7?iale, or lady, having been called in, the 
gods were angry, and would not now be appeased. Within 
an hour the poor woman died; and after this sad experi- 
ence, the lady suffered for months from such severe nervous 
prostration, that more than once, before she could again 
return to England, her life was despaired of This was 
the first case, but also the last, in her medical missionary 
experience, and, as can readily be believed, her effort in 
that direction had no favourable influence on the work 
of the mission. 

Let us not be misunderstood. There cannot be too 
many thoroughly well-trained nurses sent out to work 
amongst the women and children in our mission fields : 
there is an urgent need for them, and, like our Bible- 
women nurses at home, they will have splendid oppor- 
tunities for sowing the good seed; but do not place 
them in a position, or impose upon them duties, for 
which they will quickly discover, that their professional 
education and training never fitted them. For their own 
sakes, as well as for the sake of the cause we seek to 
promote, do not designate as medical missionaries such 
partially trained agents, and thus lead the inmates of the 
Zenanas to expect from them services which they are not 
quahfied to render. Do not instruct such agents to take 
upon themselves the duties and responsibilities of a 
doctor — to open a dispensary and a hospital — to invite 


the sick and suffering to come to them for healing ; ii 
they do, they must be prepared to receive all cases, 
urgent and simple, just as they come, and if they refuse 
cases of difficulty, and prove themselves, in the treatment 
of such cases, to be as powerless as the native d/iais or 
hakim, what influence in favour of the mission can such 
an agency exert ? 

Let such agents be content to go forth to the mission 
field as missionary nurses, not as medical missionaries ; 
let them, in a quiet, unostentatious way, go about among 
the homes of the people, searching out the sick and 
suffering, doing good to all as they have opportunity. 
Instead of proclaiming themselves " healers of the sick," 
let them rather disown such a designation — let them 
frankly acknowledge that they are not, and do not pre- 
tend to be doctors, but that they know a little, and may 
be able in all their common ailments to do them good, 
and will try to comfort and help them in their greater 
trials; let them show their sisters how to make their 
homes healthier and happier, and let them teach the 
simple hygienic rules, which they will find everywhere 
utterly neglected. In such unpretentious but useful 
work, without raising false expectations, they will find 
ample scope for the employment of all their energies and 
talents, and, either single-handed, or, better still, in co- 
operation with a fully qualified medical missionary, they 
will do blessed service in the mission field. 

In a question of such importance, it is satisfactory to 


find, that the views we have expressed are confirmed by 
the testimony of those whose long experience of pro- 
fessional work in India enables them to speak with 
authority on this subject, and by that of others who have 
discovered, by painful experience, the mistake which is 
made by our Missionary Societies when they send out 
partially trained ladies as doctors, and impose upon them 
duties which they are not qualified to discharge. 

The well-known Zenana missionary, Miss Beilby, than 
whom no one, perhaps, has had greater experience as a 
partially trained medical agent, thus writes — and we ought 
to state, that the foregoing pages were written before we 
had the opportunity of knowing Miss Beilby's opinion : — 

" Friends of this mission," writes Miss Beilby, " have 
quoted me as an example of what an unqualified medical 
missionary can do, but they either forget, or do not know, 
the circumstances of my case. People see only the out- 
side ; they know nothing of the hours of anxious reading 
when I ought to have been at rest, and of, at one time, 
broken health because the burden was too much for me; 
and also, that when I first went out to India there was 
not any college or university that gave diplomas or 
licences to ladies. Whatever I may have done, I should 
have done better had I been qualified, and should 
have been free to go on with my work now, instead of 
having to return to my studies for two or three years. . . . 
I, with others who have been engaged in Zenana Missions, 
feel that it is wrong for any woman to call herself a 


medical missionary, unless she has a full and thorough 
knowledge of her profession, and has proved she has 
such, by passing the requisite examination at a college 
or university. At the same time, I know it is difficult for 
people who have not been in India to understand this. 
They hear so much of the dreadful illness and sufferings 
of the Zenana women, that they think — ' Surely an 
Englishwoman, with two years' good training, could do 
something to bring relief to those poor sufferers \ ' but, 
believe me, it is not 'something,' or 'some relief,' the 
Zenana lady or her friends want, when the medical 
missionary is sent for, but it is everything. Their own 
women, dhais as they are called, can do something, and 
one or more of these women will always be sent for 
before an English lady doctor is called in. . . . When 
she arrives at the house of her patient, she may be quite 
sure that, if any ordinary means could do good, she 
would not have been sent for. I could tell of many cases 
where, from prolonged suffering, the poor woman has been 
in such a serious state, that many medical men would have 
hesitated to undertake such a case alone. It is forgotten, 
that when a medical lady is in any difficulty she cannot 
call in another doctor to help her — she must act alone; 
and although I have always found the medical men where 
I have worked ready to give me their advice, still how 
many cases there are in which one needs more\}i\2iXi advice. 
" I was speaking lately, on this subject, to a lady who 
has been working in India as a medical missionary. 


Before she went out, she had been thoroughly trained in 
general diseases; and in diseases of women, midwifery, 
&c., she was told that nothing more was necessary. She 
is now in London in order to qualify, and this is her 
opinion : ' I think it cruel and wicked, for any woman to 
go out to India calling herself medical, unless she has 
gone through the full course of study, and has a license 
or diploma ; ' and, she adds, ' this is the opinion of all 
who know the nature of our work as medical ladies.' If 
Zenana medical missionaries are sent out unqualified, 
the missionary work will surely suffer. The natives are 
by no means ignorant of the ways of the world, or of 
what is going on in England. The time was when no 
lady could get a license or diploma here, but things are 
changed, and none know it better than the native gentle- 
men of India. If they send for a lady, calling herself 
medical, to attend their female relations, they will expect 
to find her qualified, and that she knows her profession 
thoroughly. ... Is there then no sphere for those ladies 
who are willing to be trained for two or three years? Yes, 
they will be invaluable assistants to the qualified medical 
missionaries, if they are willing to work as such ; and in 
that case, they should have one year's training as nurses, 
and one or two more as assistants. At one time, I thought 
it was necessary for the medical missionary herself to be 
trained in nursing, but with experience my ideas have 
changed, and, while I am thankful for my knowledge of 
nursing, I do not think it is necessary for a lady who 


intends to qualify, to go through any training in this 
branch ) she should have an assistant to go out with her 
who understands nursing, and who could train native and 
East Indian women, as well as help in the medical work. 
But there is one thing to be guarded against in this, and 
that is, the unqualified lady should not be sent out two 
or three years before the qualified one, and when the 
former has established a missionary work, learned the 
language, and in all things been first, is told that in the 
future she must be second, and work under and take 
her orders from a qualified lady, fresh out from England. 
People say, ' But if the unqualified person is a Christian, 
she will do anything that will bring glory to Christ ; she 
will not mind being second where she has been so long 
first' It is, in my opinion, doubtful if such an arrange- 
ment would bring glory to Christ ; one thing I am quite 
certain of, that however good the unqualified lady was, 
she would mind very much such a state of things. I 
would give a word of warning to those who, while thinking 
all I have said right, might propose to go to India with 
only a partial knowledge, and then, if they found after 
some time that they could not get on, return to England 
and qualify. This is most unwise, for not only is it diffi- 
cult to recommence studies that have once been put 
aside, but life and work in India unfit one for hard study. 
To any one who purposes doing this, I would say most 
lovingly, as one who has learned from experience, I am 
sure you will regret such a step all your life." 



Dr. C. R. Francis, Surgeon-General of H.M. Indian 
Army (Retired), and formerly Principal of the Calcutta 
Medical College, thus writes on this subject : "A limited 
amount of professional knowledge, such as is implied in 
missionary students attending lectures and hospital practice 
for a year or two, may be useful to the missionary in his 
solitary tours through secluded regions, or when com- 
pletely cut off at his station from all European aid ; but 
they who go abroad as medical missionaries must be 
taught with uncompromising thoroughness. It must be 
remembered that, as civil surgeons are often isolated, the 
lady medical missionary may be alone at the mission 
station ; and even the presence in it of the civil surgeon 
would be no advantage, as he would not be admitted into 
the Zenana. Be the patient ever so ill, she must not see 
a man-doctor — death is preferred ; examination of pulse 
and tongue through a hole in the 'purda,' or screen, 
unsatisfactory at all times, is, in serious sickness when the 
patient is prostrate in bed, impossible, and no mere 
verbal description of the case would suffice. Thus 
isolated, therefore, and cut off from all professional aid, 
the lady medical missionary has no one to rely upon but 
herself; and it is to critical cases of this kind that our 
ladies may expect to be summoned." And again, in a 
valuable paper on " Medical Women for India," which 
appears in " The Journal of the National Indian Associa- 
tion "for February, 1883, Dr. Francis writes: "A word 
here on the professional qualifications of the female 


medical missionary. Unhappily, there are some — not of 
any great experience, however — who advocate a limited 
training with reference to the ordinary illnesses that she 
will usually be required to treat ; granting, for a moment, 
the force of this (erroneous) argument, what of the 
extraordinary cases ? There maybe no one to consult 
with, and, in her unenviable isolation, the half-educated 
lady-doctor will then deplore the short-sighted policy of 
those, who thus sent her imperfectly equipped to a foreign 
country. By all means prepare intelligent pupils as 
nurses, with obstetrical qualifications, for India, and let 
them lay claim to no higher functions ; but, in educating 
the medical missionary who is supposed to be a lady 
doctor, do it thoroughly, or not at all. The English 
public may believe in the apparent couleur de rose now, 
but the results are yet to be seen ; and no greater blow 
could be given to the cause of 'medical women for India,' 
than the breakdown of those who, each in her own 
centre, are supposed to represent the professional skill of 
the West." 

We would again state emphatically that there is a wide 
field of usefulness, and an urgent demand in the mission 
field, for well-trained missionary nurses \ we cannot send 
forth too many of such agents : but we would earnestly 
entreat our ladies' committees not to send them forth as 
missionary doctors, and we would warn the agents them- 
selves, for their own comfort and usefulness, as well as for 
the sake of the work, not only not to claim such a desig- 


nation, but to do all in their power to prevent the natives, 
among whom they labour, from regarding them in any 
other light than as nurses. 

A few words about the qualifications necessary for the 
female medical missionary. There is now no longer the 
excuse, that in this country a fully qualified female medical 
mission agency cannot be educated and trained. The 
Henrietta Medical College for Ladies in London provides 
the necessary instruction, and ladies may now obtain, 
not only the license of the King and Queen's College of 
Physicians in Dublin, but, likewise, the medical degree 
of the London University ; for all practical purposes, 
however, the former is quite sufficient, and may be ob- 
tained in less time, and with a less purely scientific course 
of study, than the London degree. A preliminary ex- 
amination in general education must be passed before 
the student can be registered, and allowed to commence 
her curriculum. This examination includes English, 
Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Latin, Elementary Me- 
chanics, and either Greek, French, or German. A certi- 
ficate of having passed the Examination in General Edu- 
cation conducted by certain educational bodies — such as 
the Universities' Local Examinations (Senior) — is accepted 
as equivalent to the Medical Preliminary Examinations, 
provided it includes Latin and Mathematics. The pre- 
paration for this honourable service is arduous, and the 
work itself difficult and anxious ; but so far as the supply 
of fellow-labourers in this increasingly important branch 


of missionary work is concerned, the Lord knows the 
need there is for them. Let us then ask them from the 
Lord, and He will send us brave-hearted, devoted Christian 
ladies to be educated and trained for this service ; let us 
realize the responsibility that rests upon us, and the deep 
debt of gratitude we owe for the privileges which we 
ourselves enjoy ; let us give to our sick and suffering 
heathen sisters the boon we ourselves so highly prize, 
and which they will hail with gratitude and joy — let us 
send to the neglected inmates of those Zenanas, the 
skilled medical aid they so much need, and let us, at the 
same time, send them the light of the Gospel to enlighten 
their darkness — to make their dreary homes bright with 
the sunshine of His presence, and to raise them out of 
their degradation, to glory, honour, and immortality. 

In the closing words of his " Plea for Zenana Medical 
Missions," Dr. Elmslie writes : " If Florence Nightingale, 
a thorough English lady — being all that that term im- 
plies — left home and friends, and went to Scutari, out of 
philanthropy, to nurse and doctor England's wounded 
and dying soldiers, surely other ladies, who have it in 
their power, should see no insuperable objections or 
difficulties in giving up home and going to India, to 
nurse and doctor their needy and suffering sisters for 
Chrisfs sake. At any rate, India needs female medical 
missionaries ; India will welcome them ; India will bless 
them for their work; and many homes, now dark, will 
be lighted up through their labours with the knowledge 


of Him who is the Light of the World. Surely it is a 
thing incredible, that among the many Christian daughters 
of England there are none brave and noble-minded enough 
to undertake this work, which, of all works, most re- 
sembles that of the Great Master Himself, who ' though 
He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we 
through His poverty might be made rich,' and of whom 
it is written, * Jesus went about all Gahlee, teaching in 
their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the King- 
dom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner 
of disease among the people.' * I have given you an ex 
ample, that ye should do as I have done to you.' " 





THE origin and progress of modern medical missions 
are closely identified with the history of the Edin- 
burgh Medical Missionary Society ; for although upwards 
of sixty years ago Mr. Douglas of Cavers, in his " Hints 
on Missions," pointed out the advantages likely to be 
derived from the employment of this agency, it was 
not till nearly twenty years after that useful little work 
was published, that the attention of the friends of missions 
in this country was directed to the subject. 

In 1 841, the Rev. Peter Parker, M.D., a medical 
missionary from America, who had laboured for many 
years, and with much success in China, passed through 
Edinburgh on his way to the United States. During his 


short visit to Edinburgh, he was the guest of the late Dr. 
Abercrombie, who was so greatly interested in the in- 
telligence he received from him, especially with his ex- 
perience of the value of the healing art as a pioneer to 
missionary effort, that he invited to his house a few 
friends, to hear Dr. Parker's account of his work, and to 
consider the propriety of forming an association in Edin- 
burgh, for the purpose of promoting medical missions. 

As the result of the interest thus awakened, a public 
meeting was held on 30th November of the same year, 
when the following resolution was adopted and the 
Society formed : " That this meeting, being deeply sen- 
sible of the beneficial results which may be expected to 
arise from the labours of Christian medical men co- 
operating with missionaries in various parts of the world, 
thus giving intelligent proofs of the nature and practical 
operation of the spirit of love which, as the fruit of our 
holy religion, we desire to see diffused amongst all 
nations, resolve to promote this object, and to follow 
the leadings of Providence, by encouraging in every 
possible way the settlement of Christian medical men in 
foreign countries, and that, for this purpose, a Society be 
formed, under the name of the ' Edinburgh Association 
for Sending Medical Aid to Foreign Countries.' " It was 
at the same time resolved, that "The objects of the 
Association shall be, to circulate information on the 
subject, to endeavour to originate and aid such kindred 
institutions as may be form^^^d to prosecute the same work, 


and to render assistance at missionary stations to as many 
professional agents as the funds placed at its disposal 
may admit." 

Dr. Abercrombie was chosen President, and, till his 
death in November, 1844, he took the warmest interest 
in the operations of the Society. Others there were, of 
world-wide reputation, whose names are identified with 
its origin. The Rev. Dr. Thomas Chalmers and Pro- 
fessor Alison were elected Vice-Presidents at the in- 
augural meeting. Dr. James Begbie, Professor Sir 
George Balhngall, Dr. William Beilby (who succeeded 
Dr. Abercrombie as President), Professor Syme, Dr. 
John Coldstream, Mr. Joseph Bell, Dr. Omond, Dr. 
Handyside — all well-known and honoured names — are 
found among the first hst of Directors. Two only of 
the original Directors are still spared (1886) to take part 
in the management of the Society, namely, the respected 
President, Mr. William Brown, F.R.C.S.E., and the Rev. 
G. D. Cullen, M.A., Vice-President. 

On November 28, 1843, the second annual meeting 
was held, when it was resolved that "henceforth the 
Association shall be designated ' The Edinburgh Medi- 
cal Missionary Society.'" The income of the Society 
during the first year of its existence amounted to only 
;^ii4, and at the close of its first decade the annual 
income had never exceeded ^^300. Till 1851, the funds 
of the Society were mainly expended in diffusing medical 
missionary information. Lectures on the subject of 


Medical Missions were delivered by several of the Di- 
rectors, and afterwards published and widely circulated ; 
prizes were offered for the best essays on this subject, 
and every available opportunity taken to advocate the 
claims of this new and interesting department of mis- 
sionary service. From time to time, grants of money for the 
purchase of medicines and instruments were made to the 
few medical missionaries then at work in the foreign field. 

From a list of Protestant Medical Missionaries, printed 
as an appendix to the Tenth Annual Report of the 
Society, we find that previous to 1841, only three such 
agents from this country were engaged in this work, 
namely, Dr. Lockhart at Shanghai, Dr. Hobson at 
Hongkong, and afterwards at Canton, both in connection 
with the London Missionary Society ; and Dr. Kalley, 
who, unconnected with any society, went out to Madeira 
in 1838. At the close of 1852, there were thirteen 
European medical missionaries employed in India, China, 
and elsewhere, as the agents of the various missionary 
societies ; one of these. Dr. Wallace, being supported by 
the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society as a mis- 
sionary to the Roman Catholics in Ireland. 

In reviewing the first ten years of the Society's history, 
the Report for 1852 thus refers to the work accomplished, 
and to the future prospects of the cause : " We feel 
satisfied that the subject of Medical Missions is gradually 
becoming more famihar to the public mind, that there is 
a growing interest in its favour, and that, at no distant 


period, its importance will be universally seen and ac- 
knowledged. Let us look upon the last ten years as the 
vernal period of the Society, during which we have been 
mainly occupied in preparing the soil and scattering the 
seed ; and let us anticipate a season — not far distant, we 
trust — when the silent and unseen germinating process, 
which is now advancing, will declare itself by a sudden 
growth of fresh and vigorous manifestation ; and for this 
we must look upwards in faith to Him on whose rain 
and sunshine the spiritual no less than the natural 
husbandry exclusively depends." 

As the results of medical missionary effort became 
more widely know, the demand for this form of agency 
increased, and the various Societies naturally looked 
to the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society for the 
supply of men ready for the work. Early in the second 
decade of the Society's history, therefore, the necessity 
arose of embracing, as part of its aims and objects, the 
helping forward of suitable young men, who, having given 
evidence that they were impelled by the constraining in- 
fluence of the love of Christ, had resolved to dedicate 
themselves to His service as medical missionaries. This 
important, and now extensive, department of the Society's 
work was entered upon by the Directors with certainly 
very humble pretentions, as indicated by the following 
7ninute^ recorded in June, 1851, which takes us back to 
the origin of the Society's Training Institution : " The 
Committee resolved to devote part of the funds at their 


disposal to the supplying of one or more students with 
the means of prosecuting their professional education, 
in order to enable them to prepare for entering upon 
medical missionary service." 

For several years the aid rendered to students was 
merely pecuniary. The Directors, indeed, took a warm 
interest in those they were helping forward, and en- 
deavoured by every means in their power to foster in 
them the missionary spirit ; but so far as providing op- 
portunities for training them for the work was concerned, 
their connection with the Society at this early stage con- 
ferred upon the students no special advantage. In a 
remarkable way, however, this want was, in God's provi- 
dence, ere long supplied. 

On October 30, 1848, Dr. Handyside — whose name 
has already been mentioned as one of the first Directors, 
and who, till his death, which took place early in 1881, 
was one of the Society's truest and most devoted friends — 
received a note from the Rev. P. McMenamy, then a 
missionary to the Irish in Edinburgh, asking him if he 
would kindly undertake to visit professionally some of 
his sick poor. In the spirit of true Christian philan- 
thropy Dr. Handyside at once consented, and hence- 
forth, wherever there were sick and suffering Irish, there, 
along with their missionary, the doctor was to be found. 
It was not long till Dr. Handyside discovered, that the 
kind and successful treatment of the wounded and 
diseased body, opened a way for the application of the 

/ i^-^t-'''^k--€^'^<e.— 


"balm of Gilead" to the sin-stricken soul; and, revolving 
in his mind how best to turn to account the influence 
thus acquired, the idea suggested itself of establishin£; a 
medical mission dispensary. In dependence on that 
blessing from the Lord which is promised to him " that 
considereth the poor," Dr. Handyside resolved to make 
the experiment, and on November 25, 1853, he opened 
the " Main Point Mission Dispensary \ " and as this was 
the first Ho7ne Medical Mission in Great Britain, and 
the origin of the Society's Training Institution, the 
following brief extract from the First Annual Report is 
interesting, as showing the principle upon which it was 
founded, and the spirit in which the work was carried 
on : " The Saviour, when on earth, manifested the 
tenderest pity for the afflicted, but while He was ever 
ready to afford them bodily relief. He never failed at 
the same time to minister to their spiritual wants. In 
this ' He hath left us an example that we should follow 
His steps.' The Gospel is the discovery of the grace of 
God to man, and the unfeigned belief of it will produce 
a disposition to ' do good unto all men as we have op- 
portunity.' It is in accordance alike with Scripture and 
reason that we should employ such an agency; but, 
unless the blessing and help of God are implored, and 
the grace so freely bestowed is received, human effort 
can never be successful in alleviating the distress, en- 
lightening the mind, and elevating the character of those 
among whom we labour," 


We have here set forth, at the very inauguration of 
Home Medical Missions, the true principle and grand 
aim of the enterprise. Some there were, at this early 
stage, who, ignorant of the mode of carrying on the 
work, had their misgivings about it, and, for no well- 
defined reason, refused their sympathy and support ; 
others regarded the evangelistic element either, as taking 
an unfair advantage to proselytize, or, as a veiled attempt 
to force religion upon the poor patient. Some objected 
to the physician undertaking duties which, in their 
opinion, belonged only to the minister of religion or to 
the missionary; while not a few, fully recognizing the 
value of the agency, and impressed with the force of the 
Divine precept and example, rallied round Dr. Handy- 
side, and cordially co-operated with him ; and the hopes 
of those early friends of the cause were not disappointed. 

Dr. Handyside, from the first, associated with himself 
the young men preparing for medical missionary service 
in connection with the Society, and as they thus had 
opportunities, day by day, of addressing the patients 
assembled in the waiting-room, and of speaking a word 
in season at the bedside of the afflicted, while at the 
same time, under Dr. Handy side's guidance, they minis- 
tered to their bodily ailments, they felt that, in view of 
the work to which they were looking forward, the 
privileges they enjoyed in connection with the " Main 
Point Mission Dispensary " were of inestimable value. 

In 1858, the attendance of patients had so largely 


increased, that it was found absolutely necessary to 
secure more suitable and commodious premises. In 
the providence of God, the way was opened for obtain- 
ing excellent accommodation in the best locality in the 
city for planting such a mission. One day, in the spring 
of 1858, as Dr. Handyside passed along the Cowgate 
on one of his errands of mercy, he observed a board 
with "To Let" upon it, above the door of No. 39, 
which was till then one of the numerous whisky shops 
in that long, narrow street. This, he thought, is Hke 
the place we are looking out for, and it is certainly 
in the right locality. He went in, looked round the 
premises, and saw at once that, with a little outlay, they 
could be made most suitable. He found that the 
spirit dealer had a lease of the shop for a considerable 
time, but that he was willing to accept a reasonable 
offer for the remainder of the lease, and at once to give 
over the premises. Within a few days, satisfactory 
terms were agreed upon, and at Whitsunday, 1858, the 
"old whisky shop," 39, Cowgate, was transformed into 
a Medical Mission Dispensary. 

Soon after the removal of the "Main Point Mission 
Dispensary " to the Cowgate, the students then in con- 
nection with the Society presented a memorial to the 
Directors^ in which they expressed their appreciation of 
the many and great privileges which they enjoyed under 
Dr. Handyside, and testified to the fact, that such an 
institution as the '' Cowgate Mission Dispensary " is the 



best apprentice school for the medical missionary 
student. They urged, too, the importance of the 
Directors having opportunities of knowing what pro- 
gress their students were making in their studies, as 
well as of training them, and thereby testing their fitness 
for missionary work; and concluded by stating their 
conviction, that the amalgamation of the Cowgate Dis- 
pensary with the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society 
would be a union fraught with rich results. 

Dr. Handyside warmly supported the memorial, and 
on the i8th November, 1861, the "Cowgate Mission 
Dispensary " became the *' Edinburgh Medical Mis- 
sionary Society's Training Institution " — a union which 
has been greatly blessed to the furtherance of the cause 
of medical missions, and which makes specially memor- 
able, this second decade of the Society's history. 

In other respects, the Society during this period 
made gradual but decided progress. It commenced, 
along with the Free Church of Scotland, a medical 
mission in Madras, and, conjointly with the London 
Missionary Society, it supported for four years a medical 
missionary at Mirzapore. It established a medical 
?Tiission in Ireland, and supported the medical mis- 
sionary there for six years. During the period under 
review, several well-known medical missionaries were 
helped forward by the Society, in their preparation 
for the work, among whom were Mr. David Paterson, 
F.R.C.S.E., the Society's first student, and for more 


than ten years its devoted agent at Madras ; Dr. Wong 
Fun of Canton, the first Chinese graduate of a European 
University, and for many years the colleague of the 
veteran medical missionary, Dr. Hobson; Dr. James 
Henderson of Shanghai, whose memoir every young 
man should read, and Dr. James Bell of Amoy, all of 
whom now rest from their labours. Dr. Colin Valen- 
tine, Superintendent of the Agra Medical Missionary 
Training Institution, Dr. Vartan of Nazareth, and the 
writer, all students of the Society during the same period, 
are still spared for service in the medical mission field. 
By the publication of an " Occasional Paper," and by 
public meetings and lectures, much was done by the 
Society during these years to promote an interest in the 
cause, and its income rose from ;^35o in 1852, to 
;^i25o in 1862. 

Under the superintendence of Mr. W. Burns Thom- 
son, F.R.C.S.E., who, while agent of the Society from 
i860 till 1870, laboured with much success and en- 
thusiasm to promote the cause of medical missions, 
the training institution soon became, not only thoroughly 
efficient, but likewise, a powerful and much blessed local 
benevolent and evangelistic agency. In the annual 
report of the Society for 1865, the following reference 
is made to the progress of the work : '* A general 
retrospect of the period since the amalgamation of the 
Dispensary with the Society, calls for thankfulness and 
praise ; for it is known by those mainly engaged in the 


work, that many of the lowest and most degraded of 
the population resorting thither, have not only heard 
the gracious offer of the Gospel, but have become 
partakers of the salvation which is in Christ Jesus. 
Not a few, believed to be now in glory, gave testimony 
before their departure that they were born again; and 
a goodly number still living regard the Superintendent 
and his fellow-workers as their fathers in Christ. Year 
by year, the value of the institution as a training school 
for missionaries is becoming more and more apparent \ 
and it would be difficult, we imagine, to find a band of 
more devoted and accomplished young men than those 
who have already issued from its walls." 

Ere long, it was found necessary to provide increased 
accommodation, and a lease was obtained of the adjoin' 
ing premises, the lower part of which was converted 
into a consulting-room, laboratory, and waiting-room, 
and the upper part comfortably furnished as a residence 
for the Superintendent and the students ; a further step 
was thus taken in the development of this important 
department of the Society's work. 

In 1863, the Society sustained a heavy loss in the 
death of Dr. John Coldstream, who had been associated 
with Mr. Benjamin Bell, F.R.C.S.E., as Secretary almost 
from its commencement. Dr. Coldstream's name was, 
up till this period, intimately identified with the entire 
history of the institution ; and to his unwearied devo- 
tion, wise counsel, and sanctified enthusiasm for the 


cause of medical missions, much of the success which 
had hitherto attended the Society's operations may be 
traced. Several medical missionaries, and among them 
the writer, trace much of the interest which they have 
been led to take in this department of missionary work 
to their intercourse with Dr. Coldstream. A medical 
missionary scholarship, of the annual value of ^^25, has 
been founded, as a memorial of that " beloved physician " 
and earnest promoter of the cause. 

In the following year (1864), the Society sustained 
another heavy loss in the death of Professor Miller, one 
of its Vice-Presidents, a warm friend and eloquent 
advocate of medical missions. His eminent service to 
the Society as an expounder of its principles, the deep 
interest he ever manifested in all departments of its 
work, and especially, as convener of the Students' Aid 
Committee, his affectionate and earnest solicitude for 
the welfare of the students, and withal, his unostenta- 
tious zeal for the promotion of the Redeemer's cause, 
invested him with an influence which carried wrth it 
an almost irresistible charm. The last public duty he 
discharged was to lecture on behalf of the Society, and 
the burden of his address, on that occasion, was the 
value of the Cowgate institution as a training school for 
medical missionaries, and the important relation it 
sustains to medical mission work abroad. It was one 
of the purposes of his life — an object for which he 
prayed, and pleaded, and worked — to get this central 


institution efficiently equipped, and put into thorough 
working order, believing that thus, the Society would 
best fulfil its mission at home, and be able to meet the 
ever-increasing demands of the foreign field. 

Soon after the death of Professor Miller, his many 
friends and admirers resolved to raise a memorial fund, 
in order, in some way, to associate his name with the 
work of the training institution which he loved so well. 
Upwards of ;^2ooo was soon raised, and with this sum 
the Committee purchased, and furnished, the convenient 
and commodious house, 56, George Square, now known 
as the " Miller Memorial Medical Mission House," and 
handed it over to the Society, as a residence for the 
Superintendent and the students. In God's providence, 
another, and much felt, want was thus supplied; foi 
although " 39, Cowgate " was the locality, of all others, 
best suited for carrying on the practical work of the 
training institution, still, the premises, as they then ex- 
isted, were far from being a desirable residence for the 

While the Cowgate Dispensary was thus gradually 
developing into an institution of goodly proportions, the 
operations of the Society were at the same time branching 
out, and making their influence felt in other directions. 
From time to time, the Superintendent and those of the 
Directors best acquainted with the work, visited the 
larger towns and cities, as deputations, to plead the cause 
of the Society; and as the success of the medical mission 


work carried on in the Cowgate thus became better known, 
interest was awakened, and ere very long, Medical Mis- 
sion Dispensaries were opened in Glasgow, Aberdeen, 
Liverpool, London, Manchester, and other centres, so 
that now, in many places we find flourishing mission dis- 
pensaries, and wherever these have been estabhshed they 
are recognized as powerful auxiliaries to home mission 

Early in 1870, Mr. W. Burns Thomson resigned his 
connection with the Society, and was succeeded by Mr. 
David Paterson, F.R.C.S.E., whose fifteen years of 
devoted and successful service, as the Society's agent at 
Madras, eminently qualified him for the position he was 
called to occupy at the head of the training institution ; 
but the Master had nobler service for him in a holier 
sphere. After only four brief months of home work as 
Superintendent, Mr. Paterson died on February 14, 187 1. 

Shortly before the death of Mr. Paterson, the Rev. 
John Lowe, F.R.C.S.E., medical missionary in connec- 
tion with the London Missionary Society in Travancore, 
then at home on furlough on account of the failure of his 
wife's health, received a very decided medical opinion, 
that it would be at the risk of her life should Mrs. Lowe 
again return to India. Under these circumstances, to- 
wards the end of January, Mr. Lowe resigned his connec- 
tion with the London Missionary Society, and on the 
death of Mr. Paterson the Directors had their thoughts 
at once directed to him. His connection as a student 


with the Cowgate Dispensary from its commencement, 
his eight years' experience of medical missionary work in 
India, the providential circumstances which, just then, 
had left him no alternative but to give up all thought of 
resuming his work in Travancore, the urgent claims of the 
Society, the unanimous invitation of its Directors, and 
the advice of friends, all clearly indicated the path of 
duty. Mr. Lowe accepted the appointment, and on the 
ist of March, 1871, entered upon his duties as Superin- 
tendent of the Society's Training Institution. 

The Report of the Society for the year 1870 closes with 
these words : " Some still remember the small beginning 
of our enterprise, and the difficulties of every kind which 
beset our inexperienced footsteps, and which, one by one, 
have been overcome, until the modest aid-giving Com- 
mittee with which we began has expanded by an unlooked. 
for growth, and without any preconceived plan of ours, into 
an institution of goodly and still increasing dimensions. 
Your Directors, impressed by these things, are more con- 
vinced than ever that the Lord is favouring the work, 
and that no step can be safely taken apart from His 
guidance, who has all along been leading us by a way 
we knew not — opening it here, closing it there ; disap- 
pointing cherished hopes to-day, and to-morrow, crowning 
them with unlooked-for favour and success ! Let us then 
be more earnest in prayer as regards the future. Without 
God's Holy Spirit we are absolutely helpless, alike as in- 
dividuals and as a society ; with His indwelling presence 


and help, nothing is too great to be achieved — a lesson 
which, again and again, has been taught us during the 
past quarter of a century." 

In 1 86 1 the income of the Society was ;^59o ; in 187 1 
it amounted to ;^i3i4. 

The last decade of the Society's history (1871-81) is, 
however, the period during which it has made the greatest 
progress. One or two facts will illustrate this. In 187 1 
there were only seven students preparing for medical 
missionary work under the auspices of the Society; in 
1 88 1 there were sixteen. There are at present upwards 
of one hundred and seventy qualified medical missionaries 
in active service at home and abroad — of these only 
thirty were in the field previous to 187 1. As already 
stated, the income of the Society in 187 1 was ;^ 13 14, in 
1881 it amounted to ;£'55o6 ; while, during the decade, 
upwards of ;^i 5,000 were raised for special objects, inde- 
pendently of the Society's general income. The erection 
of the new and commodious premises, in which the work 
is now carried on, marks the beginning of a new era in 
the history of the Society. 

A few years ago the " old whisky shop," with its dingy 
surroundings, was swept away, and on its site there now 
stands the ''Livingstone Memorial Medical Missionary 
Training Institution," a most fitting national expression 
of admiration of the character, and sympathy with the 
life-work, of the great African explorer whose name it 
bears, himself a medical missionary, and for nearly twenty 


years a corresponding member of the Edinburgh Medical 
Missionary Society. A site might have been chosen, in- 
deed one was actually secured, which would have given the 
Institution a prominence which in the Cowgate it cannot 
have ; but, like Livingstone himself, who lived, laboured, 
and died for the reclamation of the wastes of heathenism, 
this Memorial Missionary Institute is most appropriately 
planted, in the very midst of the moral and spiritual 
wastes of our home heathenism, for the alleviation of 
human suffering and the salvation of the lost, and, at the 
same time, for the training of young missionaries who 
shall follow in the footsteps of Livingstone — or, rather, in 
the footsteps of His and their great Master — and who 
shall go forth with healing in the one hand for the 
afflicted body, and in the other " the balm of Gilead " for 
the sin-sick soul. 

The memorial-stone of the " Livingstone Memorial " 
was laid by the late Rev. Robert Moffat, D.D., on June 
9, 1877, in the presence of a large number of spectators, 
the late Sir John McNeill, G.C.B., presiding. In the 
course of his address, Sir John congratulated the company 
on the presence in their midst, of the one man living 
whom, on such an occasion they would most desire to 
see. He referred to Dr. Moffat, who was the representa- 
tive of the great missionary explorer in whose honour 
they were met. Of the life and labours of Dr. Living- 
stone he would not attempt to speak. They well knew 
his devotion, his piety, his courage, his indomitable per- 


severance even unto death. They knew the cause for 
which he laboured — that he was the pioneer of Chris- 
tianity and of civihzation in the heart of Africa — that it 
was to him they owed the knowledge that Central Africa, 
instead of being a barren unpeopled waste, was a country 
densely populated, to whose people he was the first to 
carry the tidings of hope. He was sure none of them 
would ever regret having taken part in this interesting 
ceremony, but rather, in days to come, would they re- 
member with pleasure the share they had taken in pro" 
moting an institution which, in its operations, embodied 
most nearly an approach to our Saviour's example. 

Mr. Lowe, Superintendent of the Training Institution, 
after giving a brief historical sketch of the work, said ; 
" In the heart of down-trodden and oppressed Africa, 
Livingstone's faithful servants built him a hut in which to 
die ; in the heart of this sin-blighted moral waste, we are 
building him a house in which he, being dead, shall yet 
speak. Early in the morning of the ist of May 1873, Dr. 
Livingstone was found within that rude hut, kneeling by 
the side of his bed — his body stretched forward — his 
head buried in his hands upon the pillow. For a minute 
his servants watched him — he did not stir — there was no 
sign of breathing ; then one of them, Matthew, advanced 
softly and placed his hand to his cheek; it was sufficient — 
life had been extinct some time, and the body was almost 
cold — Livingstone was dead ! In view of the interesting 
ceremony we are now to witness, it is profitable thus to 


recall the last moments of the great and good man, whose 
name and memory we desire to honour. Livingstone 
died in the attitude of prayer — his whole life was a prayer, 
and, as all prayer should be, practical, fulfilling itself. 
And what is the noble effort of the Free Church at 
Livingstonia ? and that of the Established Church of 
Scotland at Blantyre ? and what the missions that are 
being founded by Dr. Smith, our former resident here, 
and his devoted associates, in connection with the Church 
Missionary Society on the shores of the Victoria Nyanza? 
and that by the London Missionary Society at Ujiji on 
Lake Tanganyika? and that by the Universities' Mission 
on the Shir^ ? and what is the noble enterprise of our 
friends, the brothers Moir? and what is this Memorial 
Training Institution, from whence, we trust and pray, 
many earnest, devoted, medical missionaries will go forth 
to carry the blessings of Christianity and civilization to 
Africa and other heathen lands ? What are all these 
grand enterprises but the direct answer to Livingstone's 
life-long prayer — the last feeble utterances of which were 
wafted to heaven, as he knelt over his bed in that lonely 
hut, and gently breathed his spirit home to God ? The 
lesson taught by all these grand undertakings, con- 
nected as they are with the life and death of Livingstone, 
is, " Be not weary in well doing, for in due season ye 
shall reap if ye faint not." 

" Work in the wild waste places. 
Though none thy love may own j 


God guides the down of the thistle 
The wandering wind hath sown. 
Will Jesus chide thy weakness, 
Or call thy labour vain ? 
The word that for Him thou bearest 
Will return to Him again 
On, with thy heart in heaven ! 
Thy strength the Master's might ! 
Till the wild waste places blossom 
In the warmth of a Saviour's light. " 

Mr. Lowe then presented Dr. Moffat with a silver trowel, 
the gift of the Directors, expressing the hope that he might 
long be spared to keep it in his possession as a memento 
of this interesting ceremony, and that it might be handed 
down to generations of those bearing the honoured name 
of Livingstone ! 

The hymn " Tell it out among the heathen " was sung 
by the children of the Children's Church connected with 
the Mission, and Dr. Moffat then laid the memorial- 
stone, a hermetically sealed bottle having been placed in 
the cavity containing photographs of Dr. Livingstone and 
of his venerable father-in-law. Dr. Moffat j also copies of the 
Edinburgh newspapers of that day, and of the Quarterly 
Paper of the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society. 
On the front of the stone the following inscription is cut : 
" Livingstone Medical Missionary Memorial. The 
Rev. Robert Moffat, D.D., laid this stone, June 
9lh, 1877. 

After prayer by the Rev. Dr. Murray Mitchell, Dr. 
Moffat said he could not exaggerate the pleasure he felt 


on the present occasion, but it was impossible for him to 
stand there and witness what he had just seen, and hear 
what he had heard, without pecuhar emotion. He knew 
the man whose name was to be kept in remembrance by 
this building, and he could not have other than a heart 
overflowing with gratitude, in witnessing the commence- 
ment of an undertaking, intended for the training of those 
who were to devote themselves to the glorious purpose 
for which he spent his life, and in the interests of which 
he died ! It was scarcely necessary for him to say more 
in reference to the character of the Institution than that 
which had been so well said already. It was indeed a 
noble institution, and no word from him was required to 
commend it to public attention. Wherever medical 
missionaries had gone, they had left their mark, and they 
had been greatly honoured in their labours. He had 
had innumerable opportunities of witnessing the value of 
medical missionary work. He had often said, and he 
said it again, that a missionary was a good thing — and any 
one who knew the work they did must say so j but a 
7tiedical missionary was a missionary and a half, or rather, 
he should say, a double missionary ! It was impossible 
to estimate the value of a missionary going out with a 
thorough knowledge of medicine and surgery. When he 
went out, there was no such agency thought of by the 
Missionary Societies. He knew little about medicine, 
and the missionaries who accompanied him knew still 
less. He did know a httle, for when he was a boy he 


fell in with a packman with a few books for sale, and 
amongst them, he happened to select " Buchan's Domes- 
tic Medicine," which seemed to imply that something 
was to follow. In after life he found it necessary to add 
to his medical library, and to enlarge his knowledge of 
medicine, and was able, in some way or other^ to doctor 
the people ; and the more experience he had in that 
direction, the more useful and successful were his ser- 
vices. He would just mention, in reference to their dear 
departed friend, Dr. Livingstone, that he (Dr. Moffat) 
had innumerable opportunities of witnessing the influence 
he gained over the natives, by the successful use of his 
knowledge of medicine and surgery. He had himself 
often seen the willingness he showed, the sacrifices he 
made, and how often he exposed himself to danger, in 
order to alleviate suffering or save life. He had left a 
bright name behind him, and it would be well remem- 
bered by, and most appropriately associated with, this 
building ; and so long as he was able to appeal on behalf 
of missions, he wouldplead for this Institution, and for 
^he Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society. 

Mr. Brown, F.R.C.S.E. President of the Society, ex- 
pressed to Sir John McNeill the thanks of the directors 
and friends for his kindness in presiding, and Mr. Bell, 
F.R.C.S.E., Secretary of the Society, thanked Dr. Moffat. 
The interesting proceedings were brought to a close by 
the children singing, '' How beautiful upon the moun- 


In the middle of December, in the same year, a Bazaar 
was held in the Music Hall, Edinburgh, under the 
patronage of H.R.H. The Princess Louise, in order to 
complete the sum required for the erection and equipment 
of the new Institution. The sum realized by this bazaar, 
and a more private supplementary sale held afterwards, 
was nearly ;^5ooo. The expenses, amounting only to 
;^388, were more than met by the entrance money. 
The bazaar, a pleasant memory to all who took any part 
in it, was a great success. It was free from many of the 
evils which are so often attendant on this method of 
raising money for good objects. No raffling was allowed, 
while many who visited the bazaar remarked on the high 
tone which pervaded it. It was a Christian enterprise 
carried on in a truly Christian spirit. 

On the 25th of January, 1878, the Livingstone Me- 
morial Medical Missionary Training Institution was in- 
augurated by a dedication service ; while, on the following 
evening, a social entertainment was given in the waiting- 
room, to the poor people resident in the neighbourhood. 

The Memorial, with its furnishings, cost nearly;^ 10,000, 
and before the building was finished the required amount 
had been fully provided. The locality is rich in his- 
torical associations ; especially do these cluster round the 
Magdalen Chapel, which has descended to us, in won- 
derful preservation, from Pre-Reformation times. This 
ecclesiastical relic belongs to the Protestant Institute, 
but, by special arrangement, it is incorporated with, and 


forms part of, the Livingstone Memorial Training Insti- 
tution, the front elevation of which corresponds with that 
of the old Magdalen, which has been beautifully restored, 
both externally and internally, and is now utilized for 
carrying on the evangelistic services in connection with 
the Mission. In this antique chapel the arms of the 
founder, Michael Macquhan, are seen on the old 
stained-glass window, side by side with those of Mary of 
Guise. Hence the light of Divine truth radiated when 
Scotland separated from Rome; and here, in 1578, the 
first General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was 
held — Mr. Andrew Melville moderator. Round the 
walls are eighty-eight beautifully carved oak panels, 
commemorative of the gifts to " ye crosse house " of 
many worthies long since departed. In the south-east 
corner is the tomb of " Dame Macquhan, ane honoribil 
woman, and decessist ye iii of December, A.D. 1553;" 
and here, too, is the old table upon which was laid the 
body of the martyred Duke of Argyll, after his execution 
in the Grass-market in 1665, with other interesting relics 
well worthy the inspection of the antiquary. 

It is not a little curious to discover, by the following 
advertisement, which appears in the Scots Postman of 
September 21st, 17 10, that, fully one hundred and 
seventy years ago, the house adjoining the Magdalen 
Chapel, on the site of which now stands the Livingstone 
Memorial Medical Mission Training Institution, was 
used as a dispensary : — " In the Hammer-mens-land at 



the Magdalen Chapel, near the head of the Cowgate, 
lives Anthony Parsons, who, in his travels, above thirty 
years in this and other countries, has attained to the 
method of curing many diseases incident to men, women, 
and children — more especially those of the eyes; and 
according to the best of his knowledge, lets the patient 
know if curable or not." 

The Memorial Institute in outward appearance is 
solid, simple, and unpretending; while internally, it is 
commodious, and well adapted for all the purposes it is 
intended to serve. The ground-floor contains the jani- 
tor's residence, the laboratory, consulting-room, vacci- 
nation or class-room, and a waiting-room comfortably 
seated for one hundred and fifty. Here, there has been 
some slight indulgence in ornamentation, which no one 
will grudge in a place where the depressed and suffering 
daily congregate. The east end of the room is adorned 
with a beautiful stained-glass window, the gift of several 
hundreds of the poor patients themselves ; the centre of 
the window represents our Lord healing the sick — on the 
one side are the words, " Himself took our infirmities," 
and on the other, " and bare our sicknesses." On the 
second floor, are the resident physician's parlour, the 
matron's parlour and bed-room, the kitchen, servants' 
room, and dining-hall, in which there is a very hand- 
some marble bust of Dr. Livingstone, and an oil paint- 
ing of Dr. Moffat. The third floor is occupied by the 
library, and bed-room parlours of the students. 


The wide-spread and successful efforts made to raise 
the funds necessary for the erection of the Livingstone 
Memorial, gave a great impulse to the cause of medical 
missions. Many then learned, for the first time, that 
such an organization existed, and that such a Christ-like 
woik was carried on, and these have ever since been 
liberal supporters of the Society. 

Since 1872, upwards of forty students have been edu- 
cated and trained for their work in the Institution. 
Legally qualified medical missionaries have been sup- 
plied by this Society, to the Church Missionary Society, 
the London Missionary Society, the Established Church 
of Scotland, the Free Church, United Presbyterian, 
Enghsh Presbyterian, Irish Presbyterian, Scottish Epis- 
copal, Baptist, and Methodist New Connexion Missionary 
Societies ; to the China Inland Mission, the American 
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the 
American Methodist Missionary Society, as well as to 
several Home Medical Missions. The students belong 
to the various evangelical denominations, and are drawn 
from all parts of the United Kingdom, and from other 
countries. The Society, in its constitution, and in its 
practical operations, provides a platform upon which all, 
of whatever name or denomination, who love the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and whose prayer is " Thy kingdom come," 
may join hand in hand in a holy alliance for the ad- 
vancement of His dominion, which "shall extend from 
sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth." 


We must not omit to mention that the Edinburgh 
Medical Missionary Society has established several 
flourishing medical missions in the foreign field. Re- 
ference has already been made to two of these missions, 
namely, the Nazareth Medical Mission, and the Medical 
Mission at Madras ; the latter, however, has been lately 
transferred to the Free Church of Scotland. In 1874, 
the Society established a most successful medical mission 
at Niigata, Japan, which has just been transferred to the 
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions ; 
and more recently, it has sent forth Dr. Mackinnon to 
commence medical mission work in Damascus. It 
assisted Miss de Broen in the inauguration of the Belle- 
ville Medical Mission in Paris, and paid the salary of the 
medical missionary there for the first two years ; while 
within the last few years, it has remitted upwards of 
;£'2ooo, in grants for the purchase of medicines, instru- 
ments, &c., to medical missionaries labouring in India, 
China, Africa, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Rome, and in other 
lands and islands of the sea. 

These are a few outstanding indications of the Divine 
blessing resting upon the work of the Society, and upon 
the cause, with the progress of which it has been so 
closely identified during the past forty-four years ; but 
there are other indications which we cannot tabulate, 
and which inspire us with still greater hopefulness than 
even the encouraging facts to which we have referred. 
We allude to the increasing appreciation of this form of 


agency, and to the intelligent interest which has been 
awakened in the work. Apologetic pleading on behalf 
of medical missions is not now called for; the work 
approves itself to every true-hearted Christian, and the 
objections to medical missions which were rife five and 
twenty years ago, are now never even heard. It was 
difficult formerly to obtain appointments for the medical 
missionary students as they finished their course of pre- 
paration; now the demand is greater than the supply. 
As already stated, there are now, in active service, at home 
and abroad, upwards of one hundred and seventy quahfied 
medical missionaries, of whom not more than thirty were 
in the field in 1870; while, from time to time, almost 
every missionary periodical tells the story of medical 
missionary triumphs in all parts of the world. 

In closing their last Annual Report, the Directors of 
the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society say : " We 
would ask all interested in the cause of medical missions 
to join with us in humble and hearty thanksgiving to 
God, for the large measure of success and blessing which 
He hath so graciously vouchsafed upon all departments 
of the Society's work. Financially, and otherwise, the 
past year has been perhaps the most prosperous in our 
history. Large demands have been made upon our 
resources, both for home and foreign work, but these 
demands have been created by the very fulness of the 
Divine blessing which has rested upon the Society's 
operations ; and it is very pleasing to observe that, in a 


corresponding measure, the Lord hath graciously inclined 
the hearts of His people to send liberal help. We must 
not, however, rest content with our present position. 
The experience of the past, the ever increasing interest 
in the work, the vantage ground which, as a Society, we 
occupy, the resources which, when needed, have always 
been provided — in short, God's providential dealings with 
us, all conspire to urge us forward ; we would hear His 
voice in all, saying to us, ' Enlarge the place of thy tent, 
and stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations ; spare 
not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes, for 
thou shalt break forth on the right hand, and on the 
left.' " 



gomje '^i^hical '^i^$i0n& ; tljeitr planet 

WHILE our chief object is to illustrate the value 
of medical missions, and to promote the more 
general employment of this agency as an auxiliary to 
missionary work abroad, yet the treatment of our subject 
would be incomplete without some reference to medical 
mission work at home. 

In this department, we again find the Edinburgh 
Medical Missionary Society taking the lead. The first 
Home medical mission, however, although established 
and supported by that society, was not located in Edin- 
burgh, but in Ireland. In 1848, the late Rev. Dr. 
Carlile, of Parsonstown, King's County, Ireland, wrote 
a very interesting letter to the Directors of the Edinburgh 
Medical Missionary Society, stating, in a very strong and 
effective manner, the claims of Ireland as a field for 


medical missionary efibrt, and requesting them, if pos- 
sible, to send him a medical coadjutor to act as a 
missionary at Birr, where an active evangelistic mission 
had just been established by the Irish Presbyterian 
Church. " I have for many years thought,^' wrote Dr. 
Carlile, "that Ireland should be treated just like any 
other mission field, and that it required even more deli- 
cacy and energy of treatment than almost any other ; and 
so far back as 1825, I printed an appeal in which I 
urged, among other measures, the employment of mis- 
sionary physicians. My residence in the heart of Ireland 
for eight years, has confirmed my opinion as to the need 
of such an agency, and has made me exceedingly anxious 
that at least the experiment should be made." 

China was the field which the Directors had intended 
to occupy so soon as they were in a position to support 
an agent of their own, and, conscious of their dependence 
on the Divine blessing, they resolved to hold a monthly 
prayer-meeting to implore God's help and guidance in 
reference to this special matter. These meetings, the 
first of which was held in April, 1848, were most precious 
and profitable seasons to all who were privileged to take 
part in them. At the second meeting, Dr. Carlile's letter 
was read, and was received as a direct answer to prayer. 
After mature consideration, the Directors resolved to 
respond to Dr. Carlile's request, and, should a suitable 
agent be found, to support a medical missionary at Birr \ 
but meanwhile, they determined to relax none of their 


efforts on behalf of China. The Committee frequently 
met for prayer that some one quahfied for the work might 
offer his services as a medical missionary to Ireland. 
They did not wait long, for early in August the same 
year, Dr. Alexander W. Wallace, a young graduate of 
Edinburgh University, applied for the appointment, and 
having produced most satisfactory testiraonials as to his 
qualifications, both medical and missionary, he was forth- 
with appointed. Writing to the Committee, a few months 
after Dr. Wallace had entered upon his duties at Birr, 
Dr. Carlile expressed his great satisfaction with the result 
of the " experiment," as he termed it. " It is," he says^ 
" with much thankfulness, that I have to own that God 
appears peculiarly to smile on the experiment which you 
have made in sending us a medical missionary. I bless 
God that I was led, I trust by His Spirit, to suggest the 
measure to your Society, and that you were led, I trust 
by the same Spirit, to comply with the request I then 
made, and that He provided for you one so well qualified 
in every way as Dr. Wallace. He is rapidly gaining the 
confidence of the people ; his hands are quite full of 
work, and several, who were well known to us as our 
most bigoted and violent opponents, have been consult- 
ing him. He is everything that my fondest hopes could 
desire — zealous in his profession, and equally so for the 
glory of God." 

In his dispensary, and in visiting patients at their own 
homes, while he successfully discharged his duties as a 



physician, Dr. Wallace availed himself most assiduously 
of every opportunity to commend to his patients the truth 
as it is in Jesus, and many were led to acknowledge 
themselves indebted to him, as the instrument in leading 
them to the Saviour, the source of all true peace. He 
was, ere long, welcomed in many quarters, where formerly 
he had been abused, stoned, and driven from the doors. 
Two years after he had settled at Birr, Dr. Carlile wrote : 
" We may now say that all opposition to the doctor has 
ceased. We are every day hearing of people who 
formerly were most violent in their opposition giving way 
— some of them consultmg him, and others cordially 
acknowledging the value of his services; and it is en- 
couraging to be able to add, that this change has taken 
place in the mmd of the people simultaneously with his 
more openly and decidedly prosecuting the higher object 
of his mission. As the result of his work, I believe a 
great change is silently and gradually passing over the 
community here." 

Dr. Wallace carried on his work at Birr, as the agent 
of the Society, till 1855, when the passing of the Medical 
Relief Bill limited, to a great extent, his usefulness ; and 
this circumstance, along with the fact, that extensive 
emigration from the locality had entirely changed the 
character of the district, as a sphere for medical missionary 
work, led the Directors to relinquish the mission at Birr, 
and to concentrate their efforts on some part of the 
foreign field. 


Let us hope, that this brief allusion to the first Home 
Medical Mission may awaken, in the minds of those 
interested in Irish evangelization, a desire to promote 
medical mission work among the poor of that unhappy 
and distracted country. There are centuries of deep- 
rooted prejudice to be overcome before the poor people 
there will listen readily to the truth from our lips ; and, 
humanly speaking, no agency is better fitted to soften 
and remove those prejudices, and to open up among 
them a way for the proclamation of the Gospel message, 
than the peaceful and benevolent operation of a medical 

The next home medical mission was that established 
in Edinburgh by the late Dr. Handy side, known as "The 
Main Point Mission Dispensary," the parent of "dear 
old 39," and, in a sense, of all our home medical mission 
dispensaries. In a previous chapter, we have related the 
interesting story of the origin of this medical mission, 
its removal in 1858 to No. 39, Cowgate, its adoption by 
the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society as a Training 
School for the Society's students, and its subsequent 
development and success. We proceed now to show the 
value of this form of agency as an auxihary to home 
mission work ; and as facts are better than theories, we 
may, perhaps, best serve our purpose by giving a few 
glimpses of our Cowgate work, as carried on from day 
to day in the " Livingstone Memenal Medical Missionary 
Training Institution." 


Details of equal interest might no doubt be given, 
regarding the medical missions in London, Glasgow, 
Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, and elsewhere. Our 
object, however, is not so much to give home medical 
missionary information, as to illustrate the practical 
working and usefulness of medical missions as a home 
evangelistic agency, and therefore, in the following pages, 
we shall confine our attention to the operations of the 
medical mission in Edinburgh, which it is our privilege 
to superintend, and with which we are most familiar. 

The following summary of cases attended during 1884 
will indicate how highly the dispensary is appreciated' 
and how great a blessing it must be, from a merely bene- 
volent point of view, in the densely populated locahty in 
which it is situated : — 

Patients registered only on their first visit 5,477 

Patients visited at their own homes ... 3,243 

Midwifery cases attended 236 

Vaccination cases 237 

Total 9,193 

On the lowest average, each patient came twice to the 
dispensary for advice at the consulting hour, or to have 
minor operations performed or wounds dressed at the 
dispensary hour, thus giving 10,954 visits. The patients 
treated at their own homes were each visited, at least, 
three times, thus giving 9,729 separate visits; adding to 
this number the attendance on midwifery cases, averaging 


four visits in each case, upwards of 10,600 visits were 
paid to the sick at their own homes during the year. 

These statistics, which are below the average of several 
years past, will give some idea of the number of poor 
people brought, year by year, under the influence of the 
mission, and imply a vast amount of suffering and misery 
alleviated or removed; but no statistics can reveal the 
amount of effort put forth, nor the success of that effort, 
to lead sin-stricken souls to Jesus, the Great Physician, 
for spiritual healing. Again and again we have been 
taught, by the blessed results of faithful, prayerful dealing 
with our poor patients, that — 

** Down in the human heart, 

Crushed by the tempter, 
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore ', 

Touched by a loving hand, 

Wakened by kindness, 
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more. " 

Daily, at the consultation hour, may be seen " a great 
multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered," 
waiting their turn, as of old at the pool of Bethesda. 
The work of each day is begun with a short religious 
service, conducted by the students, and although the 
assembly is always a very sad one to behold — poverty, 
vice, and wretchedness, in all their most aggravated 
phases, being the prominent feature — yet, as far as regards 
quiet, respectful attention, and even apparent interest, we 
could hardly wish a more orderly, or eager audience. 


This short service over, the bell rings, and the patients 
pass, one by one, into the consulting-room, in the order 
of the number on the ticket which each receives on 
entering the waiting-room. They are examined, and have 
suitable medicine prescribed for their ailments, which 
they receive when they return in the evening. A lady 
visitor is appointed for each day, who, when the service 
is over, reads and converses with the patients while any 
remain in the waiting-room. A few jottings from the 
pen of one of our lady visitors will give an idea of the 
interesting and encouraging nature of this labour of 

"The hours I spend in the waiting-room among the 
patients I value much, and the work is interesting and 
varied, reminding one often of the Apostle's words, * To 
the one, we are the savour of death unto death, and to 
the other, the savour of life unto life.' In conversing 
with them, my first and constant effort is to place before 
them the Triune Jehovah — a Heavenly Father who can- 
not look upon sin, but who, while He can only receive 
the sinner as washed pure in the blood of His dear Son, 
never fails to remember that we are ' but dust;' a crucified 
Saviour, now our Advocate with the Father, who is still 
as willing to plead our cause at God's right hand as 
when, with His dying breath, He craved forgiveness for 
those of whom He said, ' they know not what they do ; ' 
a Holy Ghost, whose chief delight it is to bring comfort 
to hearts broken perchance for sin, or by the many 


crosses and sorrows of earth. Sometimes our conversation 
will be interrupted by some one saying, * Oh, the Virgin 
will intercede for us ! ' Then another of the group of 
listeners will say, ' What the lady tells us is quite true ; ' 
or, pointing to a text-card on the wall, another will read 
aloud, ' It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all accepta- 
tion, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,' 
and others will chime in with, 'Ay, He is the one to 
save us.' 

" I strive, too, to impress upon their minds the value 
and privilege of prayer. The feelings of two classes 
among the patients, on this subject, will best be told as 
they were manifested. On one occasion, the student, 
whose turn it was to conduct the usual opening service, 
was detained at the infirmary a Httle beyond two o'clock, 
A few mmutes aft,^r the hour had struck, one woman^ 
fearing lest the Scripture reading, address, and prayer 
should that day be omitted, exclaimed, ' Lady, are we to 
have no prayer to-day ? ' I instantly felt, that a soul thus 
craving to be led into communion with God must have 
an effort made to meet its want. ' Yes, my good woman,' 
I replied, 'we shall have prayer; one of the doctors 
always asks a blessing upon us — it shall be our privilege 
to-day to seek a blessing and wisdom for them.' 

"On another occasion, a woman came in just a moment 
or two before the student who was to conduct the service 
entered. On learning that, previous to the patients being 
called into the consulting-room, there is an address and 



prayer, she said, ' Oh, I've other things to attend to, I've 
got no time for prayer.' Catching up her words, I reph'ed, 
* No time for prayer ! no time for prayer ! but one day 
you will have to find time for death ! ' She made no 
reply, but quietly took her seat. After the address, when 
the student retired, I took advantage of the opportunity, 
and read some portions of Scripture, and related a few 
anecdotes illustrating the power of prayer, which seemed 
to produce a deep impression upon the poor woman, and 
indeed upon all present. 

" I love to place before them the bright prospect, to 
the child of God, of heaven as a home, for which they 
must prepare, where there shall be no temptation to sin, 
where no sorrow shall ever enter, and no pain or sickness 
shall ever be felt ; and as I have thus talked with them, I 
have seen the big tear trickling down the cheek of one 
and another, and many times, even strong, rough men 
have turned (when the bell had rung for them to pass 
into the consulting-room) to say, ' Good-bye, ma'am, I 
won't forget what you have been telling us.' Lately, a 
young woman said to me, * A friend of mine heard you 
here the other day talking about these things, and when 
she came home, she told the whole of it to us.' I could 
but ask her to go and do likewise. In speaking one 
day, principally to the children, a mother, pointing to 
her daughter, said quietly to me, ' She will tell it all over 
to father to-night, when he comes home from his work.' 

" On another occasion, the student read and dwelt upon 


the parable of the Prodigal Son ; and as I endeavoured 
to illustrate it afterwards in a homely way, a man told me 
he had known that chapter since he was a child j his 
grandfather almost invariably made him read it over to 
him on the Sabbath evening ; and at school, a well-bound 
Bible was offered to the boy who could repeat it most 
correctly. He gained the prize, ' and a sixpence besides 
from grandfather.' The assurance of pardoned sin — the 
realization that we are one with Christ, and He with us — 
he could not imagine any one could have ; but so en- 
grossed was he with the conversation, that when his turn 
came, he made ten patients go into the consulting-room 
before he went, and at last, when all had been examined 
except himself, he begged I would wait till he had seen 
the doctor — which I promised to do. On his return to 
the waiting-room, he told me he was going to Glasgow 
next day. 'We might never meet again on earth,' he 
said, ' but, by God's grace, we'll meet in heaven ; ' and 
bidding me good-bye, he promised, if once more back in 
Edinburgh, that he would be sure to come to the waiting- 
room for more instruction, even should he not need 
medicine. Surely within that poor man there was a 
thirsting for the truth j may the Weary One who sat on 
Jacob's well satisfy him from the river of life." 

While visiting patients at their own homes, very 
precious opportunities are enjoyed of dealing personally 
with many, who might never otherwise care to listen to 
th3 Gospel message ; and it is no small pleasure to hear, 


from time to time, warm expressions of gratitude from 
many such, not only for the kind and successful treat- 
ment they have received, but likewise for the faithful 
words spoken to them, and for the prayers offered on 
their behalf. One or two glimpses of this department of 
the work may interest the reader. 

Within three days, we attended two death-beds, both 
dispensary cases, and we could not have wished to Hsten 
to more satisfactory testimony to the preciousness of 
Jesus than was given by both these poor patients. Id 
neither case were we present when the spirit took its 
flight ; but the one left a message for us with her husband, 
who came to the dispensary within half an hour of his 
wife's death, and faithfully delivered it to us. " Tell the 
doctor," she said, " that his prayers have been answered, 
and that Jesus was with me all through the dark valley ; 
tell him I can never, never thank God enough for all the 
good I have got at the dispensary, for there I came to 
know my Saviour." The last time she was out was at the 
Saturday Evening Entertainment, when she got a text, 
which, she said, was a great source of comfort to her on 
her dying bed. 

The other case was that of a young woman — a great 
sufferer, but very patient. The day before she died, she 

tried to express to us how thankful she felt to Dr. B , 

who had seen her in consultation several times. " How 
kind you have both been to me ! " she said ; " but you 
have done it all for Jesus, and He says, put it all down 


to My account. That's a grand text; give it to Dr. 

B from me when you see him next." She alluded 

to the words, " Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of 
the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto 
me." Visiting her a few days previously, she said, " No 
one knows the agony I suffer — it's just like as if you had 
cut down to the bone of my leg, and then poured in 
melted lead; and it never cools, it's burning, burning 
from night to morning, and from morning till night." 
We expressed the hope that she would continue to bear 
her sufferings patiently, when she said, " Oh, doctor, do 
you think I'm complaining ? I wadna hae it ither than 
it is for a' the warld. The mair I suffer, the closer I get 
to Jesus, and it helps me to think of His sufferings for 
me." She died very peacefully a few days after that 

One of our patients who had long been a great sufferer 
died recently. The day before his death, when we visited 
him, he said to us : " Doctor, I'm glad to see you once 
more, and to tell you that I'm perfectly happy, and have 
no fear. I'm resting on Jesus, the Rock of Ages, and 
I'll soon be with Him in glory. I want you to tell the 
students, for their encouragement, that, under God, I 
owe all to the dispensary, and to the Gospel of His grace 
which I heard there." 

Mrs. K — — was an Irishwoman — one of a class we 
are daily brought into contact with, and whose surround- 
ings and prejudices are such as to render it almost im- 


'. \ 

po/sible for the City Missionary or Bible-woman to gain 
access with the Gospel. The house physician thus writes 
of her : " I was from time to time called to attend her 
husband, who is subject to attacks of epileptiform con- 
vulsions. I always receive a very kindly welcome from 
these two, although, on my visits, I invariably have prayer 
and reading of the Word with them. They hsten most 
attentively, and converse freely about the portions read. 
The books I lend them are received with gratitude, and 
perused with care. The old man, whose strength is fast 
failing, often comes to the door with me to have a few 
last words, and always entreats me to pray for him ; and 
now his wife and he attend regularly our meeting on the 
Sabbath evening. 

" Mrs. M was a great sufferer, and at first, like 

Mrs. K , very strong in her prejudices. By and by, 

when confidence was established, she allowed me to pray 
with her. I told her that the Lord Jesus Christ, and 
only He, was able to save to the uttermost. ' Yes,' she 
replied with emphasis ; * only He, only He.' She passed 
through months of wearying pain, but manifested much 
patience, receiving, day and night, the kind and gratuitous 
ministrations of a girl who lodged in the same room with 
her. Her own daughter — a poor, half-witted creature — 
could do but little, and her husband was a drunkard. 
But, ere long, the whole family welcomed us, and the 
glad tidings we brought to them, and it was most en- 
couraging to see how eagerly even the husband would 


accept our books and tracts, and begin to read thei 
before our visit was over. Early in the winter she passec 
away, rejoicing in the assurance that ' He, and He only, 
can save to the uttermost.' 

"Mrs. S and her husband belong to the same 

class, and during the winter they have both been ill, and 
required frequent visits. They not only listen most at- 
tentively to the reading of the Scriptures, but, at their 
urgent request, I obtained a New Testament for them, 
and they tell me that they and their son never go to rest 
at night without reading a portion." 

It would be easy to multiply examples of the ready 
access the medical missionary obtains to a class, other- 
wise almost inaccessible, in the Cowgate and neighbour- 
hood. These not only gladly welcome him, and receive 
instruction from him in their homes, but also come to 
the week-night and Sunday evening services to learn 

A home medical mission will not be long in operation, 
before the requirements of the work will necessitate the 
formation of various schemes of Christian activity and 
usefulness — all of them intimately associated with, and, 
indeed, the outcome of, the dispensary practice. These 
we shall best illustrate by a brief allusion to the different 
departments of work carried on in connection with the 
Cowgate Medical Mission. 

I . Evangelistic Services. Besides the daily service with 
the patients in the waiting-room, two regular evangelistic 


meetings are held weekly, one on Thursday evening, the 
other on Sunday evening. The attendance fluctuates, 
but often the Magdalen Chapel is crowded by a very 
poor, though most attentive audience. An after-meeting 
is held at the close, and frequently nearly all who are 
present at the first meeting remain for prayer, and not a 
few for personal conversation. As the result of these 
services, many have been awakened, have found peace 
in believing, and are now proving, by their consistent 
conduct and enjoyment of Christian privileges, the reality 
of the change they have experienced. 

2. A Bible Class for Adults is conducted by one of 
the senior students on the Sunday afternoon. This class 
is specially intended for inquirers, and enables us to know 
those who are really in earnest, so that we can help them, 
in many ways, amid their numerous difficulties and 

3. The Sunday Forenoon Children's Church held in the 
Magdalen Chapel, and the Cowgate Arabs'* Sunday 
School which meets in the waiting-room in the evening, 
are two of the most hopeful and interesting departments 
of the work. Every Sunday, between four and five 
hundred children, living in the Cowgate and neighbour- 
hood, receive Christian instruction at these services. 
Many of them, when first laid hold of, are as utterly 
ignorant of Divine truth as the children in Central Africa, 
but they have been tamed, and trained, and taught, till 
now the Cowgate children's services will compare favour- 


ably with those held in connection with many of our 
City churches in more favoured localities. Last year the 
children attending the Sunday forenoon service contri- 
buted no less than ;^i2, to help their former teachers 
in carrying on their medical mission work in Persia and 

The student who superintends the Cowgate Arabs' 
Sunday Evening School thus writes of its present hopeful 
condition and prospects : " Implicit and prompt obedi- 
ence is now secured with comparatively httle effort, and 
if a rebellious spirit should occasionally manifest itself, it 
is very quickly and effectually quelled, by dealing with 
the miscreant on the platform in presence of the whole 
school. Time was, when such a plan of dealing with our 
unruly boys would have almost inevitably created a riot. 
An orderly, quiet, and, we believe, profitable service now 
amply repays us, for the time and labour spent in ' break- 
ing in ' those previously neglected little ones j and now 
that we can more and more systematically minister to 
the needy souls of our youthful charge, we may, humanly 
speaking, expect that with the Divine blessing fruit will 
soon appear, and some of the lambs be brought within 
the fold." 

4. Services in Lodging- Houses. On Sunday afternoons, 
meetings are held by the students in several of the large 
lodging-houses in the Cowgate and Grassmarket. In 
most of these lodging-houses, patients reside for longer 
or shorter periods, who during the week are visited, or 


come for treatment to the dispensary. Thus we get 
acquainted with them and their fellow-lodgers, and gain- 
ing ready access, we have often in these houses most 
attentive audiences of from twelve to twenty or thirty 

5. The Young WometCs Association is a most encour- 
aging and important department of our work. The 
management and active work of the association devolve 
on a president — who is generally the resident physician 
for the time being — and lady associates, of whom at 
present there are fourteen. Each lady associate has 
from eight to ten girls under her special charge, whom 
she visits regularly. Much good has resulted from the 
personal influence thus exercised, and many girls have 
been helped, encouraged, and guided amid the many 
temptations and difficulties that beset them. One 
hundred and forty-five members are at present on the 
roll — as many, indeed, as our limited accommodation will 
admit of our receiving. The ages of the girls vary from 
fifteen to twenty-two. The great majority are shop girls, 
book-folders, and envelope makers ; some are domestic 
servants, others message girls, while a few who are 
orphans, or whose mothers are dead, attend to household 

The schemes in operation in connection with the 
Young Women's Association are Bible classes, a temper- 
ance society, missionary sewing-meetings, lectures, a 
savings' bank, registry for situations, a lending library, 


and benefit society. A prayer-meeting is held fortnightly, 
which has been the means of blessing to not a few. 
Sixty of the girls are members of the " Scripture Union." 
The weekly meeting of the association is held on Monday 
evening, in the waiting-room of the institution, when in- 
structive lectures are delivered by members of our medical 
staff, by returned missionaries, students, or other friends. 
Examinations are held from time to time on the subjects 
of lectures, and prizes are awarded. One evening every 
month is devoted to music, while another, which is 
greatly enjoyed, is usefully spent as a missionary sewing- 
meeting. Weekly Bible exercises are regularly written 
by the members of the Bible class, and two prizes are 
given, at the close of the summer session, for the best 
answers to written questions upon the lessons taught 
during the year. The good influences thus brought to 
bear upon the young women have been much blessed, 
and many of them give evidence that they have under- 
gone a saving change. 

6. The Young Men^s Association has only lately been 
commenced ; between thirty and forty young men, from 
fifteen to twenty-one years of age, have already joined as 
members, paying a subscription of one penny a week. 
A reading and recreation room is open three nights a 
week. Bound volumes of the Graphic^ Good Words^ 
The Leisure Hour., British Workman., &c., and the daily 
newspapers, are provided ; also a bagatelle table, draught 
boards, dominoes, &c. Twice a week classes are held 


for reading and writing. In this way, we endeavour to 
offer counter-attractions to those of the public-house, 
and it is encouraging to find that the members of the 
association appreciate our efforts in this direction. 

7. Saturday Eveniitg Entertainments are given regularly 
once a fortnight during the winter, when the waiting- 
room is always filled to overflowing, and many of our 
patients and their friends are thus enabled to close the 
week, not as it otherwise might be, in rioting and 
drunkenness, but in a profitable and enjoyable manner. 
We believe these entertainments have helped to promote 
the success of the more direct missionary work. We 
have received letters from several of those who used to 
attend, but who are now at work in various parts of the 
country, some of them abroad, telling us that the first 
step towards a better course of life was taken at these 
Saturday evening entertainments. 

A Temperance Society for adults, and a Band of Hope 
for the young, are also important departments of our 
medical missionary work. No Christian worker among 
the lapsed masses can do much good, unless he is an 
out-and-out abstainer, and experience has taught us that 
the fallen can never be reclaimed, unless by God's grace 
they are brought to take their stand on the total abstin- 
ence platform. Brought as we are into the closest 
contact with our home heathenism, we would here bear 
emphatic testimony to the humiliating fact, that amongst 
the class for whose welfare we labour, the curse of in- 


temperance effectually prevents any general, widespread, 
permanent impression from being produced upon the 
community. We worked in the Cowgate, as a student, 
twenty-five years ago, and although we rejoice to know 
that since then, by God's blessing on the medical mis- 
sion and other agencies, not a few have been rescued 
out of that slough of iniquity, wretchedness, and crime, 
yet we believe that the Cowgate, with its dismal, dirty 
closes is no better now, morally and socially, than it was 
then, and the police statistics of the City confirm this 

Edinburgh, for beauty of situation, for intellectual, 
moral, and social advantages, for general refinement and 
high Christian privilege, is second to no city in the 
kingdom ; yet alongside of all this, and in the very heart 
of this fair metropolis of Scotland, there is a seething 
mass of wretchedness, pollution, crime, disease, pauperism 
and sin, from which, were the veil to be uplifted, and the 
ghastly spectacle revealed, the exclamation of the prophet 
of old, concerning guilty Jerusalem, would rise spontane- 
ously to many a lip, " Is this the city that men call the 
perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth ? " 

In the one short, narrow street in which the medical 
mission is planted, we have no fewer than twenty-six 
licensed spirit shops. The poor degraded victims of the 
"drink crave" cannot resist temptation; their habitual 
indulgence robs them of self-control, and makes them 
content to live on in misery and degradation. The mere 


sight or smell of alcohol, in the case of those to whom 
we refer, is sufficient to create the appetite, and hence, 
in a district like the Cowgate, such an array of spirit 
shops simply provides unlimited facilities for the complete 
demoralization of the community. Our legislators may 
theorize as to the causes of drunkenness, and ascribe the 
prevalence of the evil to insanatory dwellings, to neglect 
of education, lack of means for healthy recreation, &c., 
but we unhesitatingly affirm, that in the case of those at 
least, who have fallen so low as to have become the 
denizens of our city slums, the supply creates the demand. 
Under existing circumstances, therefore, the moral and 
social reformation of such districts is physiologically, as 
well as morally, impossible. In legislative action which 
admits, and even fosters, such a state of matters in our 
midst, we are not only openly setting at defiance the laws 
of Christian morality, but likewise the first principle of 
civil government, which, as defined by a great living 
statesman, is " to make it easy to do right, and difficult 
to do wrong." 

Upon the Church of Christ, which should be " fair as 
the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with 
banners," there rests a heavy responsibility in regard to 
this national sin — the greatest of all obstacles to the 
success of home mission work. Statesmen may legislate, 
and social reformers may agitate, for the limitation or 
suppression of the drink traffic, and we hail their co- 
operation, and bid them God-speed in their zealous 


efforts ; but our hope rests in the Church of Christ rising 
to the dignity of her calling, and exerting her mighty 
influence against this God-dishonouring and soul-destroy- 
ing sin, which is such a blot upon our national escut- 

There is cause for congratulation that the Church "01 
Christ, in its various sections, is becoming more and 
more alive to the importance of this question, in its rela- 
tion to home evangelization ; but her testimony must be 
more clear and emphatic, and her efforts more united and 
sustained, before this giant evil can be overcome, and the 
Gospel have free scope among the sunken masses, to bear 
its own testimony to its all-conquering power. 

We have made this digression in order to record oui 
conviction that, with the existing legislation, and the 
present system of administering the licensing laws, the 
Church in her aggressive work among the lapsed masses 
is utterly powerless, so far as that work aims at the re- 
clamation of the moral wastes of our home heathenism. 
Unless a radical change is effected, so that instead of 
multiplying temptations they may, as far as possible, be 
removed from the haunts of the drunken and depraved, 
the Church should no longer hide from herself the humil- 
iating fact, that while here and there one and another 
may, by God's blessing, be rescued, yet, so far as her 
regenerating influence upon such communities is con- 
cerned, her efforts are hopeless. We believe that the 
lamentable want of success in home mission work is 


mainly owing to the Church's lethargy and indifference 
in regard to this one great evil. We are reaping as we 
have sown. God deals with the Church in her collective 
capacity as he deals with individuals, " He that soweth 
to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption." ** If thou 
forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death and 
those that are ready to be slain ; if thou sayest, Behold 
we knew it not ; doth not He that pondereth the heart 
consider it, and He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He 
know it ? and shall not He render to every man accord- 
ing to his works?" (Prov. xxiv. ii, 12.) 

Regular weekly meetings are held in connection with 
the Medical Mission Temperance Society and Band of 
Hope. The fortnightly Saturday evening entertainments, 
at which Gospel temperance addresses are alway given, 
have been the means of bringing many forward to sign 
the pledge ; and opportunities are likewise aff"orded at 
the close of the Thursday and Sunday evening evangel- 
istic services. Good has also been done in some in- 
stances, by the distribution of attractive temperance 
literature, such as The British Workman^ The Wel- 
co?ne^ "The Life of J. B. Gough," and other peri- 
odicals and tracts. Looking back on what has been 
done in this department of the medical mission work, in 
the way of reclaiming from drunkenness, and from the 
depths of misery and wretchedness, those for whom 
Christ died, we have cause for thankfulness. We have 
had discouragements not a few, in the falling away of 


some who, for a time, seemed to be getting on well ; but, 
on the other hand, we have again and again had the great 
joy of seeing men and women firmly resisting temptation, 
and, under the influence of Divine Grace, entering, we 
believe, upon a new and better course of life. 

The Band of Hope is carried on with regularity and 
energy, but while such work among the young is always 
the most hopeful, yet when we remember the surround- 
ings of these poor children in the Cowgate, can we 
wonder that their goodness is too often as " a morning 
cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away ? " 

While volunteer help from friends outside is always 
welcome, and indeed in some departments of our work 
necessary, the various schemes in connection with the 
Mission Dispensary are worked by small committees of 
our students appointed at the commencement of each 
session j and while all are expected, and do heartily co- 
operate, to secure the success of the work as a whole, 
yet each committee is responsible only for the regular 
and efficient working of its own department. 

In the Cowgate Medical Mission two objects have to 
be kept in view. It is not merely a local benevolent and 
evangelistic agency, but likewise a training school for 
our future medical missionaries ; and in order to afford 
the students sufficient scope for gaining practical medico- 
evangelistic experience a variety of work is necessary. 
During his four years' course of preparation, each student 
has his share of responsibility and of work in connection 



with all the schemes in operation. He goes forth to the 
foreign field, not as a novice, but as a trained and tested 
medical missionary, having an intelligent grasp of the 
medical mission principle, and famihar with the best 
methods of carrying on medico-evangelistic work. It 
has been our aim to make the Cowgate Medical Mission 
a model mission dispensary — a mode alike for the 
home and the foreign field; and the best evidence of 
its usefulness is the fact, that the Cowgate Mission 
Dispensary is reproduced, with more or less identity of 
detail wherever, in this or in other lands, its students 
are engaged in their Christ-like work. 

A home medical mission should begin its work on a 
small scale, allowing its operations gradually to expand, 
and each new department to grow out of the other. Funds 
will be forthcoming, and workers will assuredly offer 
themselves just as the need may arise. There are many 
Christian physicians in practice in our larger towns and 
cities who would be willing, no doubt, to give their pro- 
fessional services at the dispensary an hour or more a 
day, as is done in Edinburgh; and there are likewise 
Christian ladies and gentlemen in full sympathy with the 
poor, who, out of love for their Saviour, would be ready 
to do all the rest. In its inaugural stages at least, a home 
medical mission might thus be established, even in our 
smaller towns, and with very little expense. There is 
one point to which special importance should be attached, 
namely, that the mission be conducted on strictly unsec- 


tarian principles. Representatives from all the Evan- 
gelical churches in the community should form its 
committee of management, and workers from all denomi- 
nations should be invited to co-operate in carrying on the 

Injudicious charity, of whatever kind, is hurtful, and 
tends to pauperize the recipients and undermine their 
self-respect. Even in providing medical relief for the 
poor, this has to be kept in mind, and assuredly a medical 
mission, if established on the provident system, will prove 
all the more a beneficent agency. The aid received will 
be none the less appreciated, while the moral influence of 
the institution will be greatly increased. While, there- 
fore, a small fixed charge for the medicine dispensed 
(say twopence or threepence) will tend to foster self- 
help among the patients, it will also largely help to defray 
the expense of the drug bill. The patients who seek 
advice at a mission dispensary belong, no doubt, to 
the poorest class, but poor, wretched and miserable as 
they are, they seem never at a loss for the means to 
supply themselves with whisky, and therefore, when the 
rule is once adopted, that a small fixed payment is to be 
made for the medicine, it should be firmly and impar- 
tially adhered to, and exceptions made, only in very special 
circumstances, and after very careful inquiry. 

Home medical missionary dispensaries ought to be 
much more numerous than they are, and should be re- 
cognized as an essential department of city mission work. 


Through the early and middle ages the Christian Church 
was the great eleemosynary institution ; provision for the 
poor, the alleviation of physical suffering and distress, 
medical aid for the destitute sick, all came directly from 
the Church, and in this ministry, the teaching of the New 
Testament and the example of Christ were the sources 
of her inspiration. The Reformation, in its protestation 
against the doctrine of " Good Works," relegated religion, 
for the most part, entirely to the heart, and left the relief 
of the sick and suffering poor to the tender mercies of 
the State, or impersonally, to the whole body of citizens, 
and hence the medical relief of the poor has lost its dis- 
tinctively Christian character. There is no lack of the 
charitable relief of suffering in connection with our public 
hospitals and dispensaries, but it is now merely a matter oi 
relief, while its bestowment has little practical value as an 
influence over human hearts, and is not made to bear 
with it, as in olden times, the odour of the love of God. 
Happily, in our mission fields abroad, the Church is 
reverting to her earlier, more Christ-like method of work, 
and in so doing she is reaping a rich reward. In many 
parts of the world, a devoted medical missionary can do 
more in a month to commend the Gospel, than an or- 
dinary missionary in the same community could do in a 
year; and experience and observation alike teach that, 
hand in hand with the Gospel, the healing art will be 
found of equal value in our mission fields at home. 
It is not enough merely to acknowledge that these 


institutions — our hospitals, our asylums, and refuges — 
are the outcome of Christianity ; this, they undoubtedly 
are, and, not infrequently, their benevolent operations 
are conducted by ministers of the Gospel, by Christian 
physicians, and by devoted business men : but the rightful 
place, which all such institutions should occupy, is that of 
auxiliaries to Christian work, and their blessings should 
be dispensed as the direct outcome and manifestation of 
the love and sympathy of Christ. Viewed in this light, 
medical missions sustain that true relation to human suf- 
fering which is, we believe, the Divine intention, and the 
practical outcome of the Gospel of the Great Healer. 




WE have, in these pages, endeavoured to plead the 
claims of Medical Missions. We have advocated 
the more general employment of this agency, on the 
ground that it is a method of missionary work not only 
sanctioned, but enjoined, by the Master Himself, and 
that the compassionate spirit of the Gospel claims, on 
behalf of the less favoured nations, languishing in misery 
and superstition, the consecration of medical science and 
skill. We have illustrated the value of this agency, alike 
as a pioneer to missionary work, and as a direct means 
of bringing the truth to bear upon the heart and con- 
science of individuals ; and we have seen that medical 
missions are no mere experiment, but that they have 
been tried and tested in almost every land, and among 
the most prejudiced and erxlusive communities, and. 


moreover, that they have been most signally owned and 
blessed of God, in the furtherance of His cause and 
kingdom. The claims of the missionaries themselves 
and their families, no less than our duty to the native 
converts in their times of sickness, have been presented 
as a powerful plea, for the establishment of a medical 
department in connection with every localized mission. 
The history and progress of modern medical missions 
have been traced, in the establishment and growth of the 
Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society, and in the wide- 
spread interest in the cause which is now manifested ; 
and lastly, while our chief object has been to promote 
the Foreign Medical Missionary enterprise, we have not 
overlooked the claims of medical missions as an auxiliary 
to Home Evangelization, while throughout we have en- 
deavoured to set forth the principles which impart to this 
agency, whether employed at home or abroad, its peculiar 
t^alue and importance. 

To take advantage of the openings for the employment 
of this agency which, in the providence of God, are 
everywhere presented, many more medical missionaries 
are required, and to the Christian youth of our country 
our appeal must therefore be made. 

In this truly benevolent and Christ-like work, an op- 
portunity is presented of consecrating the highest skill, 
and the noblest powers, to the service of the best of 
Masters, and to the promotion of the holiest and grandest 
of enterprises. " The harvest truly is plenteous, but the 


labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the 
harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest." 
Men and women endowed with special gifts and graces 
are needed. We have elsewhere indicated the difficult 
and responsible nature of the medical missionary's work, 
and the peculiar temptations to which he is exposed, it 
is not therefore necessary again to refer to these. The 
promise of " grace sufficient " is set over against every 
difficulty and every temptation, however great or strong, 
and will enable the faithful follower of the Lord Jesus 
to say, with the great Apostle : " Most gladly, therefore, 
will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of 
Christ may rest upon me, for when I am weak, then am 
I strong." 

Our appeal is not addressed to young men who have 
a high estimate of their own ability, and who make light 
of the difficulties and responsibilities of the work. Such 
men, however richly endowed with gifts and graces, make 
but poor representatives of the Master anywhere, but 
especially so in the mission field. One of the truest and 
most rehable evidences of a call from God to engage in 
this service, is a humble sense of one's own insufficiency, 
which can only be met with the Divinely inspired con- 
viction, " Our sufficiency is of God." 

From every land is wafted the Macedonian cry, " Come 
over and help us," while with that cry is heard the pitiful 
wail of languishing humanity. Men are needed, to go 
forth to those neglected and suffering millions, with 


healing in the one hand and the Gospel in the other — 
men skilled as physicians, and wise to win souls — men 
filled with love to Christ, and with the Spirit of the hving 
God — men upon whom the spirit of the great Apostle 
rests, constraining them to esteem the work as a " grace 
given," not as a duty imposed — as a privilege enjoyed, 
not as a sacrifice made. Such young men the Church 
needs, and to such God, in His providence, now appeals. 
" Whom shall I send, and who will go for us ? saith the 
Lord." Oh that from our universities, our medical schools, 
our halls of learning ; from the workshop, the counter, 
and the desk, many young men, impelled by the con- 
straining influence of the love of Christ, may respond, 
" Here am I, Lord, send me." 

To those who are about to enter the profession, and 
to young graduates on the outlook for a suitable sphere 
in which to commence practice, the Divine call comes, 
and we ask such to consider the claims of this depart- 
ment of service. We address ourselves to those who, by 
God's grace, reckon themselves " debtors to the Gospel," 
and looking to the *' fields white unto the harvest," all 
we would ask of such is, to inquire conscientiously and 
prayerfully, " Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ? Am I 
fitted, and if fitted, am I willing, to devote my life to this 
service ? " Let such questions be pondered calmly and 
prayerfully, and we may rest assured that, to such as 
are called of God to go forth into the field, the way wHl 
be made plain before them, and they will receive the 


special equipment needed for the special work assigned 
to them ; while those who are unable to go, will receive 
the comforting assurance that, if there be " the willing 
mind " it is accepted according to what a man hath, and 
not according to what he hath not. 

It may touch a chord in the heart of some young 
Christian physician, for whom God has yet higher and 
nobler service in store than he has ever contemplated ; 
and it may serve as an inspiration to others, and as an 
appeal to their loyalty and devotion to Christ, if we here 
relate the experience of Dr. Asahel Grant, to whose re- 
markable success as a medical missionary, reference has 
been made in a previous chapter. In his " Appeal 
addressed to Pious Physicians," written soon after his 
arrival in Persia, Dr. Grant thus alludes to the time when 
he decided to leave all for Christ, and to go forth as a 
medical missionary. " A young physician, who had an 
extensive and increasing practice in one of our flourishing 
cities, had thought much of engaging in the work, but as 
often as he considered the matter he dismissed it, under 
the plea that, much as labourers might be needed, yet 
there were so many obstacles in his way, that he^ at all 
events, could not go. Others were better qualified, and 
had far less to detain them at home — they might go ; 
but they did not — the call was urgent, and what was to 
be done? He prayed over the subject, and resolved on 
a more thorough examination of personal duty. He 
took up his former excuses one by one. He asked, can 


I do more at home or abroad for the conversion of the 
world ? In this view, where am I most needed ? Here, 
I may reheve much suffering, and perhaps prolong some 
valuable lives ; but should I go, others could do that just 
as well, and I should not be missed. Abroad, I may 
relieve a hundred-fold more of misery, perhaps save the 
hves of missionaries, of inestimable value to the cause, 
and that, too, when no one else will do it. Here, I have 
many opportunities of working for Christ, but what are 
they in comparison with those abroad, where I may be 
the only spiritual guide to thousands who would never 
be reached by another. Here, if I prosper, I can give 
liberally, and labour for the heathen by proxy ; but money 
alone will not do the work, and labourers, especially 
physicians, are not to be found. Here, as an officer in 
an influential church, and in connection with various 
benevolent societies, I may do much — and many think 
I ought not to change a certainty for an uncertainty \ but 
do I not know, that those churches that do the most for 
the heathen, and send forth the most labourers, are the 
most blessed of God ? Can I not, then, do most for Christ 
at home, by going in person to those who sit in darkness ? 
" But there are other ties, entwined with the tenderest 
feelings of nature \ and how shall they be severed ? 
How shall I leave my parents in their declining years ? 
How say farewell to my sister and brothers ? More 
than all, how can I leave two darling children alone in 
this selfish world? In these questions, so far as mere 


feeling is concerned, though the heart thrill with agony, 
it should not turn the Christian from duty. My parents 
are not dependent upon me, my going may be the greatest 
blessing to my brothers and sister, and what can I do for 
my children that would not be done for them if I am 
gone ? The great thing to be done for a child is to fit 
him for usefulness here, and for the enjoyment of God 
in heaven. For this, agencies can be provided, and 
super-added will be a parent's example, turning their 
attention to the great work he prays they may be quali- 
fied to pursue. If God calls me to leave them for His 
sake. He will take care of them. It may be the duty of 
others to go, but would I let my neighbour die of hunger, 
because his rich brother ought to feed him rather than I? 
No more can I let millions perish, because others do not 
give them the Bread of Life. I cannot, I dare not, go to 
judgment, till I have done the utmost God enables me to 
do, to diffuse His glory throughout the earth." 

The foreign field needs men like Dr. Asahel Grant, 
who will calmly count the cost, and whose Christianity 
inspires them with the determination to honour Christ, 
by seeking to make the world better — men who solemnly 
consecrate themselves and all they have to God, and 
who dare not go from His altar, and stand convicted 
before their own consciences, of having loved the world 
more than God and the souls of their perishing fellow- 
men — men who can say, as he said : " My heart almost 
faints within me when I think of the magnitude of the 


work, and of my own unfitness for it ; but then, when I re- 
member that He gave Himself for me, and has promised 
to uphold me, then, at His call, and sustained by the 
blessed assurance, ' I am with you alway,' I stand ready 
to go, in the face of danger and of death, to any part of 
the world under the dominion of the prince of darkness, 
my only wish in regard to a location being to go where 
I am most needed." 

In this service, no great earthly rewards are promised, 
no alluring prospects of professional distinction, no 
tempting retiring allowances ; but most inviting fields are 
offered for the exercise of the highest professional ac- 
complishments, the prospect of a hfe of exceptional 
usefulness, and, when life's labour is ended, the " Wei) 
done, good and faithful servant." There is, besides, 
the honour and privilege of being called to be a " fellow- 
worker " with God, an ambassador for Christ, commissioned 
to be the means, the witness, and the historian of the 
highest and noblest developments of civilization ! With 
St. Paul, the medical missionary may well say, " I m.agnify 
mine office," for he, of all others, follows most closely in 
the footsteps of Him of whom it is recorded, '' He went 
about among all the cities and villages, teaching and 
preaching in their synagogues, and healing all manner of 
sickness and disease among the people." Contemplate 
also the grandeur of the medical missionary's aims ; — 
in the eloquent words of one of the vice-presidents of 
the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society, the late Mr. 


Miller, Professor of Surgery in the University of Edin- 
burgh, " Think of the brilliant career that opens out 
before the medical missionary. How noble, by the 
simple operation for cataract, to ' throw open the dark- 
ened windows of the soul, and let the sweet light of 
heaven into man's otherwise dreary tabernacle ! ' — but how 
nobler far, to open the spiritual eye to see the Sun of 
Righteousness, to behold the Lamb of God ! How kind 
the art, by vaccination, to deposit in man's earthly frame 
a particle of wondrous power, whereby a loathsome, and 
most fatal plague shall be either altogether averted, or 
rendered mild and tractable when it comes ! — but yet how 
far more kind, to be the means of introducing into the 
inner man a new and vital principle, more powerful and 
prophylactic still — the new heart, the Gospel light, the 
Spirit's grace — whereby the worst of all evils, sin, shall 
be shorn of its malignant power, shall be subdued and 
trampled on, routed and driven away ! How blessed is 
that skill which cures the ulcerous wound, and mitigates 
the agonies of fell disease ! — but how far more blessed, to 
heal the soul's deadly hurt, and pour the ' balm of 
Gilead ' into the sinner's wounded spirit ! How merciful 
the hand that safely amputates the unsightly mass of 
morbid and abnormal growth, whose very weight is bur- 
densome, whose course is deathward ! — but what richer 
mercy far to help, Bunyan-like, to lift that heavier load, 
which not only oppresses now, but would crush and sink 
the bearer into endless misery ! How grateful is the 



task to cure the halting cripple, and make him walk and 
leap again as if in youth ! — but how more glorious far, to 
recall the wanderer's steps from folly, sin, and death ; to 
guide his feet into the way of peace ; to show him the 
old paths, where is the good way, that he may walk 
therein and find rest for his soul ! " 

While the practice of the healing art is marked out, in 
a way more striking than in any former age, as one of the 
channels through which the blessings of the Gospel are 
destined to flow forth upon the world, another result of 
the employment of this agency may be anticipated, which 
cannot but inspire the enthusiastic Christian practitioner 
with an ardent desire to engage in the work. The medi- 
cal missionary's object is two-fold — to preach the Gospel, 
and to heal the sick ; and while his skill and success as 
a practitioner are to be made subservient to his evangelistic 
work, still, his ministry of healing is, in itself, a service 
which, in the mission field, is of inestimable value. He 
carries with him, into less favoured and often barbarous 
lands, the blessings of our great modern improvements in 
medical and surgical science, and there, he may even be 
the means of founding schools of medicine which, at no 
distant day, may be centres of enlightenment and civili- 
zation, radiating the benefits of Western science and 
beneficence throughout the "dark places of the earth." 
Where medical missions are established, the training of 
native agents usually forms an important part of the 
work. In Agra, a Medical Missionary Training Institution 


is ill operation. In the great empire of China, almost the 
only means by which the Chinese can obtain a medical 
education, is in connection with our medical missions; 
while in Syria and Central Turkey, flourishing medical 
colleges have been established by American missionary 
societies. In Japan, while all native physicians, at present 
practising in the country, may continue to do so accord- 
ing to the system in which they have been trained, a 
recent order of the Government enforces, that no licenses 
to practise are in future to be granted except to those 
who shall pass an examination in Western medical science. 
There are, according to the official census, thirty-four 
thousand native physicians practising in Japan, of 
whom less than five hundred have received any in- 
struction in European medical science. If, therefore, 
Japan is to be supplied with educated physicians in a 
proportion equal to its population, before the close of 
the next generation at least thirty thousand men must 
be trained, who, from the nature of their profession, will 
exercise a vast influence upon society. Japan is calling 
for the medical science of Christendom, and doubtless 
the call will be responded to, but shall it be with, or 
without, the faith of Christendom ? With God's bless- 
ing, a Christian medical school in Japan, such as the 
Protestant college at Beyrout, and at Aintab in Central 
Turkey, would prove a most powerful agency in the 
evangelization of that great empire. The coming era 
of the missionary enterprise will, we believe, be char- 


acterized by a concentration of effort in the great 
work of training native agents for the evangelization of 
their fellow-countrymen ; and in this special department 
of work, as in all others, the friends of missions must be 
prepared to provide native Christians with the means of 
education and training in order to fit them for efficient 
service. What inviting spheres of influence and useful- 
ness are thus waiting to be occupied by young talented 
medical men, competent to instruct others in their pro- 
fession, and inspired with the true missionary spirit ! 
There is scarcely any limit to the hopes that may be 
cherished, if, with the Divine blessing, advantage be 
taken of the openings in the foreign field for the exercise 
of the evangehstic and benevolent operations of the 
medical missionary. Surely a work so full of promise, 
and so practical, so suited to the requirements of the 
mission field, so Apostolic, so Christ-like, claims the 
consecration of the noblest powers which our universities 
and medical schools can furnish ! And to the young man 
who may read these pages, especially if he be a medical 
student or graduate, we would say, " Think of this work, 
dwell upon its glorious issues, look at its claims in the 
light of what you owe to Christ, and if you hear the voice 
of God calling you to engage in it, manfully take up your 
cross, and go forth to it, and you will never cease to 
thank Christ Jesus our Lord for counting you worthy to 
take part in this ministry." 

There has been, of late, an increased and growing in- 


terest in the cause of missions, among the educated youth 
of our country, the outcome of a wonderful work of Divine 
grace among the students of our Universities. This work 
is so manifestly of God, that we shrink from referring to 
any mere human agency in connection with it ; but there 
can be no doubt that, while other influences were at work 
preparing the way, the blessing came through the channel 
of consecrated missionary zeal, on the part of the little 
band of devoted men from Oxford and Cambridge Uni- 
versities, who, constrained by the love of Christ, forsook 
all, to live and labour, and, if need be, to die for Him, in 
the high places of the field. A work thus inaugurated, 
and thus owned of God, cannot but be fraught with rich 
blessings to the cause of missions. In view of this mis- 
sionary revival among students, and of the world's needs, 
there rests upon the Church of Christ, and upon our 
missionary societies, a great responsibility. At no former 
period, have there been so many thoughtful, earnest, and 
devoted young men offering themselves for foreign mis- 
sionary service. Among medical students especially, this 
spirit of self-consecration is manifested in a very remark- 
able degree. The Church has long been praying the 
Lord of the harvest " to send forth more labourers into 
His harvest ; " and now, in the widespread interest in the 
cause of missions awakened in our colleges, God is 
answering her prayers, and inclining the hearts of many 
accomplished and devoted young men to respond to the 
Divine call. Is the Church prepared to receive such an 


answer to her prayers ? Are these young candidates for 
missionary service to be encouraged to come forward in 
ever - increasing numbers ? Is the Church ready to 
welcome them, to train them for her service, and to 
send them forth as her messengers to the heathen ? All 
this, of course, implies the provision of vastly increased 
resources, and we leave these questions to be pondered, 
and prayed over by the friends of missions. 

In this blessed work among students, God is teaching 
His people, that the way to secure a revival of true godli- 
ness in the Church is to cherish the spirit of self conse- 
cration, and to yield a loyal obedience to the Divine 
command, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the 
Gospel to every creature." The more the heart responds 
to the call of humanity, and of Christ, the more room 
will be found in that heart for the Divine blessing ; and 
the more the Church exerts herself for the extension ol 
Christ's kingdom abroad, the more will the Holy Spirit's 
influence be felt within the Church at home, operating 
for her advancement and prosperity. Let the Church 
rise to the dignity of her calling, and gathering up all her 
mighty resources, seize the present opportunity; then, 
assuredly, " times of refreshing " will come from the 
presence of the Lord ; the Lord will give the word, and 
"great shall be the company of them that publish it.'^ 
" God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall 
fear Him " 

This plea on behalf of medical missions cannot more 


appropriately be concluded, than in the eloquent words 
of one to whom the cause was very dear, and whose once 
familiar voice was often heard, advocating the consecra- 
tion of medical science and skill to the advancement of 
the Redeemer's kingdom. Speaking at one of the annual 
meetings of the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society, 
Professor Miller said : — 

" When we come before you with Scripture warrant on 
our side — with the personal example of our Lord and 
His Apostles not only beckoning us on, but reproving 
us for not having come — with the successful experience 
of medical missions, as far as they have yet been tried, 
speaking strongly in our favour, and with the united and 
cordial approval of every missionary with whom we have 
ever come in contact — when missionaries all tell us that 
they find the medical element so essential to the success 
of their work, that they are compelled sometimes to prac- 
tise it themselves — when labourers from all quarters of 
the missionary field, men gallantly bearing the burden 
and heat of the day, are calling to us anxiously for medi- 
cal colleagues, not on account of their own health, but 
to assist them in their great work of reaching the hearts of 
men whose souls they seek to save — when, had we but the 
means and the men, we might now plant, not one, or two, 
or three, but many medical missions in the very heart 
and strongholds of heathenism, and they would be gladly 
welcomed, and by and by supported, by the very heathen 
themselves — with such claims as these, surely it is neither 


unbecoming nor unwarrantable that we ask earnestly and 
importunately for your sympathy and aid. And bear 
with me, if I remind you that you have an important duty 
to discharge towards the medical profession, that you 
owe it a debt. Is there any one here who does not feel 
and acknowledge that debt ? Has no father, or brother, 
or sister, or husband, or wife, or child, been saved to you, 
under God's providence, by the skill and care of the 
physician ? At a time when all seemed dark and hope- 
less, and you dared not look into the future, at a time 
when the blackness of despair had settled down, and well- 
nigh shut out heaven from your sight, and prayer from 
your lips, at a time when you would gladly have given all 
the earthly treasure you possessed, or ever might possess, 
in barter for the life which seemed so fast and hopelessly 
ebbing away, has not the physician then seemed to you 
as a ministering angel sent to comfort you ? have you not 
then clung to him as your best earthly friend, your only 
earthly hope and stay ? And when success attended his 
efforts in battling with disease and death, and life, and 
hope, and health came smiling back, have you not wet 
his hand with your tears of gratitude, and sent him away 
laden with your blessing and your prayers ? Or was it 
your own hfe that was quivering in the balance at a time, 
perhaps, that a downward turn would have hazarded a 
double death ; but when the upward cast, still due ap- 
parently to the hand of the physician, bade you live 
again for time and for eternity ? Ah, then, surely the 


argument we now venture to use, will come home with a 
double force. Each one who has felt this, or aught like 
this, will surely acknowledge a large and growing debt of 
obligation. Let those debts be all accumulated into one 
vast whole — not due, or at least not to be rendered, to the 
individual man, but to the God-like profession which they 
represent. The opportunity is given you to discharge in 
some measure that debt now. Honours, in old times, 
were freely accorded to individual practitioners of re- 
nown ; medals were struck in their honour, bearing the 
legend ' oh cives servatos ' on account of citizens pre- 
served. We seek no such personal gifts, but we ask you 
to honour the profession, by helping it to honour and 
adorn itself, by helping it to write on the bells of the 
horses 'Holiness unto the Lord,' by helping it to be 
instrumental in saving the souls as well as the bodies of 
men, by helping it to place in its coronet new jewels of 
greatest value and of brightest lustre, by helping it to 
twine in its garland a new wreath from the ever-green 
and ever-growing Plant of Renown. And let me add that, 
in thus honouring the profession, you will honour also 
that profession's Head. Medicine has been at no time 
without her gods. The early Greeks owned Apollo; 
after him came -^sculapius; and gods and demigods 
followed in abundance. But the power of advancing 
civilization struck away those unsightly capitols from the 
otherwise goodly column ; not to leave it mutilated and 
bare, but to make way for the true headstone, to exalt 


and acknowledge the Great Physician, Jehovah-Rophi, 
the Lord the Healer — no mythical personage, but He 
who in very deed dwelt with men upon the earth, who 
' went about continually doing good,' and who has 
promised to be with His faithful followers ' alway, even 
unto the end of the world/ Such is the double debt 
and double duty which we ask you now in part, at least, 
to discharge. But do not mistake the nature of the claim 
which we make. We seek your pecuniary aid to carry on 
this great and noble enterprise so beneficent to men, so 
glorifying to God ; but we do not want your money only. 
' Your money or your life ' is the startling demand of 
the highwayman ; ours is more startling still, ' Your 
money and your life.' Of some select, gifted, and gallant 
few, we seek their lives wholly devoted, to the death if 
need be, in the service of their great Master. But of all, 
we seek their life in one sense, in the sense of claiming 
that on which true life depends, that whereby spiritual 
life is fed and maintained, without which it dies — prayer, 
intercession at the Throne of Grace ! . . . And if it be 
true, that the deadly conflict is now at hand between truth 
and error, between the powers of light and the powers of 
darkness, if the time is now near, when we shall be in- 
volved as combatants for very life in that eventful struggle, 
how can we look for Heaven's aid, how dare we ask it, 
unless we be on Heaven's side, and doing the will of 
Him who sits Almighty there ? How can we in the shock 
of the coming battle, and in the turmoil of the approach- 


ing fray, be otherwise than helpless and overborne, 
unless, as faithful soldiers of the cross, we be found 
mustered around, and fighting under, the banner of the 
Captain of the hosts of the Lord, following where that 
banner leads, losing neither sight nor hold of it — the 
banner of Him, whose latest command it was, whose 
very watchword of the fight is, ' Go ye into all the world, 
and preach the Gospel to every creature.' 

" And He sent them to preach the Kingdom of God, 
and to heal the sick. . . . And they departed, and went 
through the towns, preaching the Gospel and heahng 
everywhere " (Luke ix. 2-6). 


Africa — page 
Central — King Mirambo's appreciation of a 

Medical Missionary ... 68 
„ Dr. Southon as a missionary physician at 

Urambo 68 

„ Notes on Madi or Moru tribe, by Mr. 

Felkin, F.R.S.E 164 

East Central — Mr. J. T. Last on superstitions in 167 

Appeal to young men and students . , . . 265 

Central Turkey— 

Influence of a Medical Missionary in . . 72 
Wife of the Medical Missionary welcome to harems 

of Turks 72 

China — 

Amoy — Rev. Mr. McGregor on value of Medical 

Missions 132 

Canton, Hospital at . . . . . .122 

Commencement of Medical Missions in , , 122 
Hangchow, Medical Mission at . . ■. '133 

Hankow „ „ „ ... 125 

Hongkong „ „ „ . . . 124 

Low state of medical science in ... 154 

?.86 INDEX, 

China — continued. page 

Manchuria, Medical Mission at . . . .135 
Medical Missions a direct evangelistic agency in 121 
Shanghai, Medical Mission at . . . .122 

Swatow, Dr. Gauld at 128 

„ Fruit of hospital work (Dr. Lyall) at .129 
„ Largest Medical Mission Hospital in 

China 128 

„ Story of a converted leper . . .130 
Christian Church, in early ages a great eleemosynary 

institution 260 

Corea, Dr. Allen's success as a Medical Missionary in 62 
Cowgate Mission Dispensary — 

Evangelistic fruit in 245 

Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society's Training 

Institution 210 

J ottings from pen of a lady visitor at . . 240 

Method of carrying on work in ... . 239 

Origin and history of 209 

Summary of cases in 238 

Value as a training school of . . . . 257 

Visits to patients at their own homes . . . 243 

Difficulty of introducing Gospel into heathen lands 8 

Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society— 

Abercrombie, The late Dr., founded the . . 202 
„ „ 5, „ chosen first President 

of ... . 203 

Appointment of Mr. John Lowe . . . 215 

„ „ Mr. David Paterson ; his death . 215 

„ „ Mr. W. Burns Thomson . . 211 

Coldstream, the late Dr., Death of . . ,212 

First students of the 210 

INDEX, 287 

Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society — continued, page 
History closely identified with origin of Medical 

Missions 201 

Medical Missions established in other towns 

through the 214 

Medical Missions in the foreign field established 

by the 228 

Memorial of students regarding Training Institu- 
tion 209 

Miller, the late Professor, Death of . . . 213 

Miller Memorial Medical Mission House . . 214 

Origin of Training Institution of the . . 205 

Parker's, Dr., visit, and its connexion with the . 201 

Present prosperity of the . . . . 229 
Resignation of Mr. W. Burns Thomson . .215 
Societies supplied with Medical Missionaries by 

tne ••• ••••• 22/ 

Home Medical Missions — 

First Home Medical Mission established in Great 

Britain . . 237 

First Home Medical Mission established in Ire- 
land 233 

Hints as to commencement of . . . . 258 

Place, method, and power of .... 233 

India — 

Evangelistic value of Medical Missions in . 91 
Afghanistan, Influence of native Medical Mission- 
ary in 64 

Arcot American Mission — Dr. Chamberlain . , 115 

„ „ „ Dr. H. M. Scudder , 113 

Beawr, Dr. Somerville no 

Jeypore, Ranee cured by Dr. Valentine — opened 

to Gospel ... . . . ' 66 

288 INDEX. 

India — continued. page 

Kashmir, Medical Mission in . . , , 104 

„ Medical Missionary itineration in . . 108 
„ Dr. Neve's description of work in 

Hospital 105 

Kashmir, Opened to Gospel (late Dr. Elmslie) . 102 

Rajpootana, United Presbyterian Mission at . 109 
Travancore, Caste distinction forgotten for th.e 

time in Hospital .... 65 

„ Devil Temple, Story of its destruction 97 

„ Evangelistic fruit in Hospital . . 96 
„ Heathen towns opened to the 

Medical Missionary in . . • 95 

„ Hospital and Dispensary at Neyoor 94 

;, Legend regarding nature of disease in 160 

„ Mandycadu festival. Visit paid to . 161 
„ Medical Mission, Great evangelistic 

agency in 64 

„ Native Medical Evangelists trained 

by Messrs. Lowe and Thomson . 102 
„ Power of superstition on converts in 

time of sickness . . . . 151 
„ Training of native agents, Importance 

of 152 

Western — Cholera Mother (Murree Ai) . .159 

Intemperance great barrier to Home Mission work 253 

Japan — 

Great need of a Christian Medical School in . 275 
Niigata — Dr. Palm welcomed by Japanese physi- 
cians in 137 

„ Success of Medical Mission at . . 136 

" Livingstone Memorial " — 

Accommodation of the . . c . . 226 

Bazaar in Music Hall for 224 

INDEX, 289 

"Livingstone Memorial" — co7itinued, *'age 

Cost of the , . 224 

Lowe, Mr., Address by 219 

McNeill, Sir John, G.C.B., Address by . . .218 
Magdalen Chapel forms part of the . . . 224 
„ „ Arab's School, Sunday evening in 248 
„ „ Children's Church, Sunday fore- 
noon in . . . . 248 
,, ., Evangelistic services held in . 247 
,, „ First General Assembly of 

Kirk of Scotland held in , 225 
„ ,, Pre-Reformation times. Des- 
cended from . . .- . 224 
Moffat, the late Dr., Address by . . , 221 
Saturday evening entertainments of the . . 252 
Temperance Society for Adults, and Band oi 

Hope 252 

Young Men's Association of the . . . 251 

Young Women's Association of the . . 250 

Lovedale, Dr. Stewart on value of practical methods 5 


Account of superstitions among the Sakalava » 162 

Apostacy of converts in time of sickness in . 149 

Rev. W. Ellis on value of Medical Missions in . 67 

Madeira — 

Dr. Bobert Kalley's work in . . , , 138 

Remarkable fruit of Medical Missions in . » 139 

Main Point Mission Dispensary — 

Opened by late Dr. Handy side. .... 207 

Removal to 39, Cowgate, of ... > 209 

Training school. Its value as a .... 20S 

Medical knowledge among heathen, Possibility of 

extending 274 

Medical Missionary — 

Claim to be " set apart " to the work of the , 34 


290 INDEX. 

Medical yVm>%\f^xi'axy— continued. page 

Entire consecration essential in the . . ; 271 





43> 44 



" Evangelist " the proper calling of the 

Function of the (the Evangelist) . 

Increasing demand for the 

Inducements to respond to call as a 

Medical care of Mission families, The duty of the 

Miller, the late Prof., describes the work of a 

Ordination to ministry not desirable for the 

Partial training deprecated .... 

Private practice, Shall he engage in . 

Professional qualifications of the . 

Salary, Ought he to receive higher 

Training of the 

Medical Missions — 

Alexander's, The late Rev. Dr. Lindsay, testimony 


Corbett's, The Rev. H., testimony regarding 
Eloquent plea for (late Professor Miller) 
Fortune's testimony regarding .... 
Grant's, the late Dr. Asahel, testimony regarding 
Halford's, Sir Henry, address on . . . 
History and progress of .... 

Hospital, Importance of a 

Jews, For work among ..... 

John's, the Rev. Griffith, testimony regarding . 
Lewins, Dr. Robert, Staff Surgeon-Major, on 
McGill, the late Rev. Dr., Foreign Mission 
Secretary, on ..... . 

Mackenzie, Dr., Tientsin, regarding . 
Methods of operation. Hints as to 
Mission fields abroad. Need of . 
Missionaries and their families. Claim for 
Missionary Societies, Their duty in regard to 
Mohammedan communities, For work in 














Parker's, Dr., testimony regarding ... 59 

INDEX, 291 

Medical Missions — continued. page 

Pioneer agency, As a 56 

Prejudice, A means of overcoming . . . 53 

Sphere and scope of 27 

Van de Velde's, Lieut., testimony regarding . 70 
WolfPs, Dr., testimony regarding . . . .71 

Medical Students, Outcome of a revival among . 277 

„ „ Remarkable revival among . . 277 

Ministry of Healing, itself of value in the Mission held 274 

Nestoria, Dr. Asahel Grant's success as a Medical 

Missionary in t^ 

Pious Physicians, Appeal by Dr. Asahel Grant to . 269 

Preaching the Gospel — 

Apostolic method and example in . . . 16 

By a life of loving deeds 10 

Christ's precept and example in . . = 11 

The Divine ideal of 4 

Recognition of medical skill in the early Church . 20 

Revival in the Church, How to secure .... 278 

SlAM, Dr. Sturge's account of medical knowledge in 156 

South Pacific Islands, Cruelties prevalent in . . 169 
Syria — 

Antioch — Success of Medical Missions in . 71 

Nazareth — Dispensary and Hospital at . • 75 

„ Evangelistic work in Hospital at . 76 
„ Dr. Vartan's influence in surrounding 

districts 84 

Remarkable blessing on Dr. Kalley's work in .140 

Temperance work in Cowgate, encouragements, &c. 256 

2 92 INDEX. 

Zenana Lady Medical Missionary — page 

Course of study, &:c., of 182 

Diploma or license essential for . , . 19a 

Partially trained lady not properly a . . . 185 

Professional qualifications of a . . . . 196 

Qualifications requisite in a 183 

Sphere and function of a 182 

Training and position of a . . . . . 177 

Zenana Medical Missions 175 

" Medical Women for India,'' by Dr. C. R. Francis, 

Surg.-Gen. H.M.I. A 194 

Nurses, Great ignorance of native . .180 

„ Great need of 18S 

,, Hints to Ladies' Committees in sending out 195 

„ Position and duties of . . . . 188 

s. Qualification and training of . . . 184 


1 17n D135E TMbfi 

MMical missions